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Network Rail planning to reroute railways in the north of Wales due to climate change

25 Jul 2022 3 minute read
Photo Transport for Wales

Network Rail is drawing up plans to reroute railway lines in the north of Wales which are expected to be swept away by climate change.

The main North Wales Coast Line runs close to the sea along much of its route, as does the Cambrian Line between Pwllheli and Aberystwyth in mid-Wales.

The arm’s length public body of the Department for Transport, which isn’t devolved to Wales, has begun drawing up a list of the lines that could be most impacted by climate change.

Tracks on the coast in the north of Wales, Devon and Cumbria are thought to be among the most at risk, according to the Telegraph.

Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s director of safety and engineering, told the newspaper that they are ranking areas on their risk and conducting modelling over concerns that sea levels will rise.

“We either build sea defences on a scale that we haven’t seen before, we reroute lines that are close to the coast, or the country tolerates a level of reliability that’s way below what we get at the moment,” he said.

“The modelling that we’ve received shows a real point of inflection and real change in sea levels and coastal erosion. From 2050, we can see low lying railways being really exposed to coastal erosion.

“This is not something that gets into build within the 2020s but if you’re not building it by the mid to late 2030s, then you’re going to miss the date from the latest projections.”

Network Rail said that they put together a task force of experts to look at accelerating preparations following last week’s heatwave.

‘Potential routes’

Last week the Welsh Government revealed that they would begin to outline a potential rail link between the south of Wales and Aberystwyth by 2027.

The Welsh Government’s National Transport Delivery Plan 2022 includes a list of ongoing projects, with plans to develop the case for the railway to Aberystwyth by 2025 and outline the design by 2027, although the document concedes that the planning stage may well move “beyond” that point.

The Plaid Cymru and Welsh Government cooperation agreement include a commitment to “ask Transport for Wales and other partners to explore how transport links between the north and south of Wales can be developed”.

These would include “how to protect potential travel corridors along the western coast of Wales from Swansea to Bangor”.

The transport document published this week includes amid its ongoing projects a “Swansea Aberystwyth Rail Link” with a commitment to “develop the case for change and option selection” between 2022 and 2025 and “outline design and powers” between “2025 to 2027 and beyond”.

The plan says: “TfW are developing outline plans for improving sustainable transport along travel corridors on the west coast of Wales.

“As part of this work they will identify any potential routes that will need to be reserved for potential future development.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

Mark…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Someone should supply Rail Track with a relief map of North Wales…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Mark why don’t you explain to the good people on here what is going on re the scam and say sorry to Anoushka and me for the other day…

Last edited 4 months ago by Mab Meirion
Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago

Good to see that Network Rail are taking Climate Breakdown seriously and planning to do something about it. Of course that will require substantial funding so don’t expect much action while we continue to have a “Small Government” Tory Administration. For the Aberystwyth – Carmarthen re-link I wonder if we need to push things along by emulating the activity of the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway folk. They have set up a property company that negotiates with owners of the old trackbed and persuade them to sell at sensible prices. Thus they are protecting the route and developing plans to make… Read more »

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago

we need some serious action on climate change from our senedd.
it starts with being much more radical on basic policies. no cars in town centres as an example. yes a short term economic hit but our climate is the most important thing

Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre
4 months ago

Yes, there are sections of track that need protecting but is Carmarthen to Aberystwyth really one of them? That is just a vanity project set up to appease Plaid Cymru through whose constituencies it runs. The real points of concern along the North Wales coast, the Cambrian line and along the southern coast will be forgotten in the scramble to build something that isn’t needed. You can see “failed in Wales” coming over the horizon once more.

Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob McIntyre

I fail to see why you think Network Rail, controlled by London, the same Dept of Transport who have underfunded Cymru by billions funded by London, and who are responsible for track in the whole UK, would think it necessary to appease Plaid Cymru. Do Plaid hold something over Network Rail?

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob McIntyre

Good transport links is not a “vanity project”. The One Nation failed experiment is a vanity project.
Connecting major Welsh towns which are only 45 miles apart makes perfect economic sense. To travel between the two currently takes 2.5 hours on a bus along a-roads and country lanes, or 6.5 HOURS ON A TRAIN via England.
You would have to be a monocled monocular Anglo Unionist to not see the sense in connecting our own economic centres together. Phase 2 must be connecting Aberystwyth to Caernafon / Bangor to enable Cymru to join up our North and South Wales economies

Last edited 4 months ago by One of the two witnesses
Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Bob McIntyre

Sorry Bob, but as an Aberystwyth resident I don’t see Aber-Carmarthen as a ‘Vanity Project’. Getting down south from Aber by road is slow and tedious and that is for somebody who is able bodied and has a car. What about those elderly folk whose relatives have been shipped off to Carmarthen for medical care (Bronglais does not deal with all specialities)? We do not have to follow the old Manchester & Milford Company trackbed but using it might be cheaper than starting afresh. Of course if we could get it funded properly we could then decide which selttlements between… Read more »

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