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Brand new rail services set to launch on key south Wales line

21 Sep 2023 4 minute read
Image: TfW

Brand new rail services are set to be launched on one of south Wales’ key lines, almost doubling the number of travel options.

Thanks to a £70 million investment through the Welsh Government and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, Transport for Wales and Network Rail will be delivering direct services between Ebbw Vale and Newport.

From December, the line will have two trains per hour – one to Cardiff and one to Newport. That means the line will have more than 60 services running on it every single day.

TfW Project Sponsor Kevin Lewis said the project was an example of “true collaboration”.

He said: “These new services will be a huge boost for the local economy giving people more options for leisure, learning and business travel.

“If you want to travel towards Bristol, London or Manchester, you no longer have to double back on yourself to Cardiff, though those services are still there for those heading west.

“TfW, Network Rail and our partners in Blaenau Gwent Council, as well as Caerphilly Council have worked incredibly closely to ensure we’ve delivered genuine value for money from this Welsh Government investment. This really has been a truly collaborative effort.”

The project has also seen a fully accessible footbridge built at Llanhilleth and new platforms at Llanhilleth and Newbridge, meaning there is now step-free access to all platforms on the line.

To allow the services to run, a new 7-mile passing loop has been built between Crosskeys and Aberbeeg alongside new earthworks and drainage, constructed to accommodate the new track.

Alongside this work, The Department for Transport and Network Rail have provided a further £17m of funding to deliver the signalling upgrade at the south end of the line.

Work

Network Rail with contractors AmcoGiffen and Siemens have been delivering the work on infrastructure for the past 18 months with the next set of work included below. During this time work will be continuous as buses replace trains.

  • Sunday 24 September
  • Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October
  • Wednesday 15 November to Monday 4 December 2023

Nick Millington, Route Director at Network Rail Wales and Borders said: “I’m delighted that we are now entering the final phase of work which will transform how passengers travel on the Ebbw Vale line.

“We are proud to provide low carbon journeys and support Welsh Government ambitions including its modal shift away from private cars. It will also help connect communities and boost the local economy.

“I’d like to again thank passengers and our neighbours for continuing to bear with us as we complete these vital improvements.”

A return ticket from Ebbw Vale Town to Newport will cost you £8.30 or £29.10 for a seven-day season ticket.

The Ebbw Vale line reopened in 2008 after being closed for 40 years and was instantly popular with passengers with direct services to and from Cardiff Central.

In 2014, a brand-new station at Pye Corner opened serving passengers at the southern end of the line and in 2015, approximately 1.5miles of new track was laid to extend the railway from Ebbw Vale Parkway to a brand-new station at Ebbw Vale Town.

Councillor John Morgan, Cabinet Member, Place and Regeneration and Economic Development at Blaenau Gwent Council said: “I am pleased that the work to improve the rail service is nearing completion.

“Working with our partners in Welsh Government, Network Rail and Transport for Wales to enhance the Ebbw Valley rail link to improve transport links remains a high priority for the Council.

“I have no doubt that a more frequent service will improve opportunities for inward investment, access to employment both within and outside of the local area and enhance a critical transport artery that is seen as a main driver within the context of the wider Cardiff Capital Region City Deal offer and the development of the Metro.”

Improvement

And Cllr Nigel George, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, Property and Highways at Caerphilly Council said: “The improvements at Newbridge station and the wider works on the route between Ebbw Vale and Newport are a fantastic step forward to improving access for all to public transport.

“Not only will they improve access for disabled travellers, they should also encourage more people to travel by rail and improve the customer experience for families with pushchairs and those with luggage.

“I’d like to thank all stakeholders for all the hard work and Welsh Government for their investment that has gone into making these works a reality and I look forward to seeing the difference they make for people locally.”

As a result in the uplift in services, trains will be retimed so it is important for customers to check their journey details from 11 December onwards.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 months ago

Lucky South Wales as usual…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Still they will probably mess it up as usual…see Y Storfa ! a university town to boot…Due Diligence lacking every step of the way…

Silenced!
Silenced!
8 months ago

Good news for South Wales. It’s needed. But don’t forget the other 4/5ths of the nation

Ted rogers
Ted rogers
8 months ago
Reply to  Silenced!

We don’t need trains we need jobs

Silenced!
Silenced!
8 months ago
Reply to  Ted rogers

There are jobs running trains. Drivers, conductors, mechanics, platform services, rail maintenance, signals staff, HR, Wages, Commercial, Communications, Customer support.
Oh an people without cars need trains to get to the jobs they have

Johntgelec@gmail.com.com
8 months ago
Reply to  Silenced!

Hear<hear!

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

Newyddion bendigedig 👍🏼 A long time in the coming but here at last. My old pals the late Roy Hughes MP and Gwent leader Graham Powell pushed for this 30 years ago ! Shows devolution of powers with money 💰 works . There are other examples of comparatively small rail schemes opening up big economic and community gains. I know the Swansea remodel rail scheme is on the cards but north – south fast 💨 links are needed between Wrecsam and the coast missing out the doubling back into Chester station for one will quicken times by 12 to 17… Read more »

Glyntwin
Glyntwin
8 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Good news indeed. It’s just a shame that the Tories can’t give us the £5bn they owe us from HS2. At £70m cost, we’d be able to do this another 71 times and get those north-south links.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
8 months ago
Reply to  Glyntwin

Yes Wales needs better links to English airports.

hdavies15
hdavies15
8 months ago

South Wales already has a good road to Bristol Airport. Shame no one invested in a half tidy road to Cardiff/Rhoose. They have botched the roads and rail. No real attempt to make it a viable alternative.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
8 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Why was that hd do you think?

Bachgen o Lerpwl
8 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Beth am Fancinion a Birmingham?

Silenced!
Silenced!
8 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

There is a decent road to Cardiff Wales now. You no longer need to navigate country roads to get there now. A roads all the way from the M4. Same as to Bristol

Martino Pritchardo
Martino Pritchardo
8 months ago

How about getting g the services you already have up to scratch and disabled user inclusive not unfriendly. The service as a disabled person is shocking, even booking assistance

Welshman28
Welshman28
8 months ago

Create new services/routes but they cannot run the service NOW . It’s incredible how they wannt to come up with these ideas but do nothing to heal the problem they have now . Who taking bets on when this new service will actually run for a full week without failure of any kind

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