Network Rail is considering the sell off of 18 major rail stations including the iconic Bristol Temple Meads. It is currently owned by Network Rail who were brought into the public sector in September 2014. Advisers from Citigroup have been hired to look into the possibility of selling off 18 sites to help pay for the companies debts.

The station opened 31 August 1840 and was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel is the largest station in Bristol. The station runs services to London Paddington, Leeds, Cardiff, Plymouth and many others for over 10 million people per year over 15 platforms.

Other stations being consider for sale are London Waterloo, Reading, Leeds and Edinburgh Waverley.

According to the Independent Newspaper a Network Rail spokesman has said: "Generating funds to invest in building a bigger, better railway is at the core of our disposals strategy. We’re taking a long hard look at our assets, ensuring we keep what we need to grow and expand the railway, but then looking at ways we can realise best value from the rest to reinvest."

This also comes after a comments by Meg Hillier MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee: "Network Rail has lost its grip on managing large infrastructure projects. The result is a twofold blow to taxpayers: delays in the delivery of promised improvements, and a vastly bigger bill for delivering them."

More than 4,000 have signed a petition calling for the station to remain in public hands.

Creative Commons Image by Chris McKenna.