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Railway lines re-opened in Wales

The Welsh Government has invested over £40m to re-open railway lines in Wales for passenger services.

Ebbw Valley Railway Line

The Ebbw Valley Railway Line re-opened for passenger services on Wednesday 6 February 2008. Passenger services last operated on the line in 1962.

The cost of the project was circa £30 million and funding was provided by Welsh Government, Corus Regeneration Grant and the European Objective One Programme.

The project was developed by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Caerphilly County Borough Council, and Newport City Council in conjunction with key stakeholders; the Welsh Government, Sewta, Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales.  Capita Symonds project managed the scheme with Amey Infrastructure Services the principal contractor for the works.

Ebbw Valley Railway Line Facts and Figures:

  • Arriva Trains Wales operate an hourly service between Ebbw Vale and Cardiff.  Timetable information can be obtained from their website.
  • 6 new stations (Rogerstone, Risca & Pontymister, Crosskeys, Newbridge, Llanhilleth, Ebbw Vale Parkway with a total of 8 platforms, each 97m long, apart from Ebbw Vale Parkway which is 100m long.
  • Over 35,000 metres of fencing has been erected or repaired.
  • As part of the scheme 382 parking spaces have been provided across the station sites including 28 designated for disabled parking.
  • 21,000 metres of new rail have been installed and 30,000 tonnes of ballast delivered.
  • The scheme covers 29km/18 route miles of railway.
  • There are a total of 24 cycle lockers and 4 Sheffield stands provided at the station sites.
  • CCTV is being provided at all new station car parks and platforms.
  • A total of 8 passenger help points are provided.
  • 3 miles of double track has been reinstated to provide a passing loop for the trains.
  • There are 13 new colour light signals, controlled from a new panel at Park Junction Signal Box with train detection using 18 new axle counters.
  • 8000m of cable troughing have been installed.
  • 5 new S & C (Switch and Crossing) units, 1 at either end of the passing loop and 3 replacement units at Park Junction have been installed.

Vale of Glamorgan Railway Line

The Vale of Glamorgan Railway Line re-opened on Friday 10 June 2005. Passenger services last operated on the line in 1964.

The project cost £17 million and was funded by the Welsh Government with another £2.5m Transport Grant Investment in the interchanges at Llantwit Major and Rhoose Cardiff International stations.

The works were carried out by Network Rail. The project was brought to completion in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council, the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Sewta, (South East Wales Transport Alliance), the Strategic Rail Authority and Cardiff International Airport.

Vale of Glamorgan Railway Line Facts and Figures:

  • Arriva Trains Wales operate an hourly service between Rhoose and Cardiff.  Timetable information can be obtained from their website.
  • 3.5 miles of new track laid
  • 6.5 miles of track upgraded to allow trains to travel at higher speeds
  • Seven additional signal installations fitted to increase the capacity of the route
  • 13 axle counters fitted to determine whether the track is occupied or clear
  • 8,200 new sleepers laid
  • At least 15,000 tonnes of ballast used
  • Almost 70 miles of cabling installed
  • Stations constructed at Rhoose and Llantwit Major, both operating two platforms
  • A bay platform at Bridgend re-opened to accommodate trains of up to four cars in length
  • Wheelchair access, visual and audible customer information systems, customer Help Points and controlled circuit television fitted at the stations
  • The new platforms are of solid fill construction, with tactile paviors fitted, to inform the visually impaired when they are approaching the platform edge
  • Safety work was undertaken to upgrade public foot crossings along the route
  • The line provides an important rail link to Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station, which is connected directly to the airport terminal via a short shuttle bus journey.
  • Galliford Try Construction, Carillion Rail and Mowlem Railways were contracted to carry out various parts of the project

Contractor Information

Galliford Try Construction

Galliford's were contracted by Network Rail to construct the new stations at Rhoose, Llantwit Major, as well as build the new bay platform at Bridgend.  This involved building two platforms at both Rhoose and Llantwit Major, a new platform at Bridgend, providing all the station equipment and shelters and installing a footbridge connecting the two new platforms at Llantwit Major.  This was the most difficult procedure they carried out for this project, as a large crane was required to manoeuvre the bridge, at awkward angles, into position in December 2004.  This needed to be completed to enable the council to construct the bus interchange at Llantwit Major.

Carillion Rail

Carillion were responsible for installing the new signalling system between Aberthaw and Cowbridge Road signal boxes to allow passenger trains to use the Vale of Glamorgan line.  They removed all the old semaphore signals and installed new colour light signals (similar to traffic lights), as well as place axel counters along the line to detect trains.  New troughing was also laid along the line to house the new signalling power cables.  To do all this they used road rail vehicles that transported all the equipment used.

Carillion also upgraded all the foot and farm crossings situated along the Vale of Glamorgan line.

Mowlem Railways

Mowlem were employed by Network Rail to upgrade and renew the existing track that runs the length of the Vale of Glamorgan line.  As part of this work, they removed existing sections of track and re-profiled them to enable trains to travel at increased speeds.  Tampers and road rail vehicles were used to carry out this work.