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New interactive railway map shows how far you can travel in 5 hours – check out your own local station

12 Sep 2022 3 minute read
The interactive map of how far you can get on Wales’ railways

A new interactive map shows the stark differences in train travel times for passengers across Europe – with the slow network around Wales a particularly noticeable feature.

French software engineer Benjamin Tran Dinh has created his Chrono Trains map using data from 30,000 stations across all of Europe.

The map, the first version of which launched at the end of July, shows how far on average you can go from any station, broken down by coloured divisions of within one hour, two hours, three hours, four hours, or five hours.

He originally created the map in order to show the differences between different areas of France when it comes to how far you can journey on average within five hours.

But it has now been expanded across Europe allowing users to compare stations in Wales with the rest of the UK and elsewhere on the continent.

Since launch, the map has been consistently updated and has now been visited by over a million people, he said.

It shows that travellers from Abererch in Gwynedd can barely make it the 25 or so miles out of Wales at all within five hours while a traveller from London could get as far as Cologne in Germany in the same time.

The map also highlights the lack of connections between the north and south of Wales, with travellers from Holyhead able to get to London in four hours but barely being able to make it to Cardiff in five.

It suggests that the biggest gap in Wales’ network is between mid-Wales and the south-west of Wales, with Carmarthen and Aberystwyth being only 40 miles apart but travel between them within five hours being impossible by train.

Benjamin Tran Dinh stresses however that in reality journey times might be even slower than those shown on the map.

“This assumes interchanges are 20 minutes, and transit between stations is a little over walking speed,” he says. “Therefore, these should be interpreted as optimal travel times. The journeys might not exist when taking into account real interchange times.

“Since there is no guarantee that trains will connect perfectly, the map tends to be overly optimistic.”


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Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre
17 days ago

It isn’t so much how far you can travel in 5 hours but how many trains you have to travel on in the first place and how they are timed. Take Llandovery for instance which has four northbound and five southbound trains per day. If I want to travel from Cardiff back to Llandovery by public transport, then the latest I can leave is 17:04. So which of the following places can I still get to from Cardiff after this time? London, Norwich, Holyhead, Penzance and Glasgow? And that assumes the trains actually run. Currently the running average at Llandovery… Read more »

Markavro
Markavro
17 days ago

It would be a good website and app, but those Red strikers are destroying the modernization of the UK rail system and so the rail network is hardly likely to get you anywhere quick in 5 hours. And after the strikes the public’s love of rail travel will be so damaged, there will have to be redundancy because of lack of demand for services. So the Red strikers are not going to gain anything.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
17 days ago
Reply to  Markavro

I agree make them work for nothing and give up their days off as well, innit.
Have you ever considered fascism as a hobby?

Lindsey Glen Dobie
Lindsey Glen Dobie
17 days ago

Just a small point, Abererch is a lot further than 25 miles from the Welsh border, more like 70! I looked at Pwllheli station, the terminus of that line, from there it takes 5 hrs just to reach the English border, Abererch is only a couple of miles down the line.

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
17 days ago

We should have more money from London Government for the railways in WALES they gave more money to Scotland because of the HS2 the white elephant which is still going up we where told NO MOREMONEY because HS2 benifits Wales it is over 50 miles away they must thing we are idiots SAYING IT BENIFITS WALES

David Smith
David Smith
17 days ago

Transport policy in Britain is pig awful.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
17 days ago
Reply to  David Smith

Apparently it is all down to the dead hand of the Market. No big profits to be made in providing a North-South Welsh railway, so it will not appear. While we have a Government of Market Fundamentalists we cannot expect any better.

David Smith
David Smith
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

Why are all these European countries with all these social programmes and publicly owned infrastructure amongst the strongest economies in the world then? I feel as though the likes of the S*n and the Daily Mail have been lying to me in their privateer zealotry!

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
16 days ago
Reply to  David Smith

They have indeed. You need to remember that this country’s politics are driven by the media owning right wing billionaies like Rupert Murdoch. They have an agenda that they are slowly pushing and the de Piffle and now Lavish Liz the Blundertruss regimes will take them very close to their goals especially if they can get their Free Port agenda through without too many amendments.

To understand it have a look at this article by Alistair Campbell {https://alastaircampbell.org/2018/08/the-most-important-book-you-have-never-heard-of-which-helps-understand-rees-mogg-love-of-hard-brexit/] which reviews the book that explains what they are plannning. On his site you will also find part two of the article.

David Smith
David Smith
16 days ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

In fairness the Johnson government made a lot of the right noises about levelling up and that. We’ll never know what would have become of it given the pandemic struck not long after the 2019 election.

I gather freeports are a boon for drug smugglers. Howard Marks did well out of Shannon Airport. It’d be interesting to see how far their libertarian ideals stretch when these places are used to import marijuana.

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