New Welsh Government rail map raises campaigners’ hope for a north-south railway
A new map published by the Welsh Government has raised campaigners’ hopes for a new north-south railway line.
The map published this month showed existing lines and also a green arrow pointing down from Bangor towards the south of Wales.
A second map (below) showing the entire network shows a link between Bangor, Caernarfon and Porthmadog.
The campaign group Traws Link Cymru was formed in 2013 with aim of reinstating the railway lines between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen, and Afon Wen to Bangor, both of which were closed to passengers under the 1960s Beeching Cuts.
They have interpreted the new maps as a sign that the Afon Wen to Bangor part of the route, at least, may now be under serious consideration as part of the so-called North Wales Metro.
Civil engineer Bob Saxby from Traws Link Cymru told Golwg 360 he did not see any problem with the connection between Bangor and Afon Wen reopening.
“I can’t see any major problems with using the old trackbed through to Afonwen, much of which still exists,” he said.
“In the few places where new roads have trespassed on the line, new bridges would need to be built and possibly some sections of the road realigned, as has been done elsewhere,” he said.
“The tunnel under Castle Square in Caernarfon would need to be converted back from road to rail use but has very little traffic and would be even less needed as a road when the Caernarfon Bypass open.
“There is room for a railway to go between Morrison car park and the council car park under the car park behind Asda, to a station very close to the walled town and bus station.
“As well as encouraging visitors to come here by train, taking the pressure of the A55 as well as local roads and car parks, a railway would enable local people to get jobs along the north of Wales coast rather than having to move to away to find work. ”
These new images are said to show transport priorities up until 2029.
The maps were released as Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters visited Wrexham General Station to see the work that is taking place on the metro scheme.
He said that while these maps were not the “final picture” it showed the direction of travel.
The Deputy Minister said: “In North Wales, we have put in place the foundations for transformative rail and bus services and active travel.
“Alongside reducing rural isolation and opening-up job, business and leisure opportunities across north Wales, these plans will also play a vital part in developing the region’s wider economy.
“Our transport network will change the way we travel by creating modern, sustainable bus, rail and cycling and walking networks, creating a range of work and leisure opportunities while reducing the environmental impact.
“They also will play a critical role in delivering the priorities and objectives of our ambitious new transport strategy, Y Llwybr Newydd and helping us meet our target of 45% of journeys being made by public transport or active travel by 2040, helping to reduce road congestion, carbon emissions and air pollution.
“People right across Wales can soon expect a network of routes and interchanges that offer faster, more frequent and reliable services on more comfortable, accessible, and greener vehicles.
“However, we cannot achieve our shared ambitions to address climate change without the UK Government’s support to deliver these programmes where passengers are heavily dependent on enhancements on Network Rail’s infrastructure.”