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New Welsh Government rail map raises campaigners’ hope for a north-south railway

18 Sep 2021 4 minutes Read
Picture by the Welsh Government

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.

Detail of the North Wales Metro network map

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. ”

‘Sustainable’

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.”

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Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
1 month ago

Linking Carmarthen station to the Gwilli railway will cost very little and open up the real possibility of restoration of the line to Aberystwyth in structured phases.
The people of Wales should be able to invest in this project as our predecessors did for the creation of our universities

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
1 month ago

Sadly, like most heritage railway lines, they are run and staffed by quite fiery and unbending individuals. They would rather keep their few miles of rusty rail than have the whole line reopened.

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago

I’m up for that. I like the idea of us owning stuff, schools, own supermarkets………………..

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Pull our money out of HS2 and spend it in Wales…I wish…

Pembrokeshire resident
Pembrokeshire resident
1 month ago

Having worked in a rural community for over 50 years, I would not have been able to work without a car. The rail links don’t exist, I couldn’t cycle or walk the distances required. As a single parent I also had to collect children from after school care.
While I appreciate environmental concerns, and that this will work if you live and work in a reasonably populated area, it isn’t logistically possible for some areas.

Eifion
Eifion
1 month ago

There is something perversely British, that the only option I have to visit my daughter in uni at Aberystwyth is a two hours drive, although we’re only 40 miles away. While if you live in an English city like Birmingham you’ve got a direct train link.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Eifion

Comparing Birmingham and Aberystwyth is a bit like comparing apples and oranges though isn’t it?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

He’s not comparing Aber to Brum, he is citing the fact that there is a direct rail link between the 2 places while places in Wales, especially south of Aber have some of the worst roads ever to be labelled “major routes”. The A487 from Aberteifi is awful, the various routes from Carmarthen and the Tywi Valley are just as bad, and the A470 & A44 bringing you up from various parts of S.E Wales is grim once the A465 is crossed. I’m sure people from the N.W could make a similar case, while getting from say Wrexham in the… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Google “In Britain we are doomed” to see Clarkson’s Vid, just to see what can now be done in hilly areas.

Last edited 1 month ago by j humphrys
Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Mae’r un peth yn wir o draffyrdd Y Swistir…~ The same is true of Switzerland’s motorways…

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago

Very good that Afon wen line may be reinstated. Useful for the communities along the line, but if you did want to get to Cardifff, due to Geography it would still be quicker to go very Hereford.

Ask any North Walian and we’d properly want faster links to Crewe, where trains leave for everywhere. Inc Cardiff.

About time us gogs ruled our own affairs.

Last edited 1 month ago by Llewelyn
Ian Hunter
Ian Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Can we try for #Annibyniaeth for the whole of Cymru before the Gogs secede 🙂

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Hunter

Nope, it started up here, so it starts first up here.

Christian
Christian
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

You do realise that for centuries the English dictated exactly what happend in Wales. We were a hole. Then the Senedd came and improved with very little funding areas of Wales ( not all granted ) . Now you reckon that England can give you powers, no extra money though and you will improve everything. West Wales has similar issues to North Wales but we don’t make it east, West thing. Wise up.

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Christian

I don’t need to wide up. Just because my opinion to yours is different, it doesn’t make it wrong. Let’s face it, Cardiff just thinks of Labour supporters. Us in the west and North are an inconvenience. Maybe you should wise up, and realise being a useful fool to cardiff serves no purpose for either of us. I’m fully aware of welsh history. Infact even much so if you want to play that card, the seat of government for Wales was historically in the mid and North Wales. Historically Cardiff was never the capital. To correct this wrong I suggest… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Aberystwyth or Aberffraw…it’s a brave man or woman who would suggest Machynlleth on here though…

Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Well St Asaph would be best in a modern sense. Aberystwyth would be good as well. Even Chester should be thrown in the hat.

Imagine if the capital was in any of those three, you could hear the cries now.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Aberystwyth gets my vote out those three, with a weekly ferry north and south, mind you my old county town of Dolgellau might throw its hat in the ring too…amser cinio…ta ra

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Yeah, the striplings of Caerlleon would guarantee a friendly hand from the lads of Wrecsam! Lol!!

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Hunter

Llewelyn leading the charge, looks back, no one’s there……………

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Dim problem o’r Gogs yn erbyn yr Hwntws ydy, ond Senedd San Steffan yn erbyn Senedd Cymru ~ It’s not an issue of Gogs versus Hwntws (South Walians) but the Westminster Parliament versus the Welsh Parliament.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Wales will never have rail connectivity between North & South if left to Whitehall. Ask yourself this question. Why? I’ll answer. We’re not worth it and it doesn’t benefit England directly. It’s stated by Whitehall in the past that it would cost too much money due to problematic landscape. Bit like the excuses given how Welsh people pay more for water than their English counterparts even though their water came from the same source in Wales, with the excuse due to our hilly landscape had to pump water uphill. Yes, quite. Oh, but they (Whitehall) in their day managed build… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Y Cymro
Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Annibynieth I Gogledd cymru o Caerdydd. Gogledd cymru am byth.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

We’re all in this together, Llewelyn, gogs and hwntws. You’re right that Cardiff Bay has neglected the north, but it’s also neglected the Valleys and allowed the One Planet Development scam to requisition whole chunks of West Wales. Rhaid yr ymgyrch annibyniaeth yn cynnwys pob rhannau o’r gwlad.

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