The railway line has been closed since 1964
Plans to re-connect Portishead in North Somerset to the passenger rail network are due to move a step closer.
Network Rail is to carry out a study into how feasible it would be to put the line back in service and to build a new railway station.
The section under the spotlight is three miles of line from Portbury Docks into Portishead town centre.
It has remained closed since 1964 despite a vociferous local campaign to get it reinstated.
The study, costing some £164,000, will look at potential engineering problems, any conflicts with the freight-only service which operates along the first part of the route to Portbury Docks and the cost of reopening a full passenger service.
Deputy leader of North Somerset Council Elphin Ap Rees said the study is "an important step forward" towards trying to improve the transport infrastructure of Portishead.