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Part of mid-Wales railway will be closed for weeks after ‘biblical’ storm damage

24 Feb 2022 2 minute read
Picture by Network Rail

Network Rail engineers have said that part of the Cambrian line in mid-Wales could be closed for several weeks after sections of the railway were damaged by flood water “of biblical proportions”.

Engineers who assessed the damage with drones said that ballasts had been washed away in 12 locations along half a mile between Welshpool and Newtown in Powys.

The damage was caused by the storms Dudley, Eunice and Frederick which all hit in quick succession over the last two weeks. The River Severn was recorded at its highest level ever on Monday.

“Fast flowing flood water of biblical proportions has devastated a section of the railway south of Welshpool, and it’s going to require extensive repairs before we can safely reopen the line,” Bill Kelly, Route Director for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said.

“The images from site speak for themselves, there are multiple sites where the ballast supporting the track has been completely washed away. With climate change, we’re seeing more and more extreme weather like this so it’s vital we continue our mission to build a more resilient railway for Wales and Borders.”

Travellers from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury will have to travel by train to Newtown, before continuing their journey to Shrewsbury by bus. Transport for Wales services to Machynlleth will then restart at Newtown.

Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, managing director of Transport for Wales, said: “We understand closures are incredibly frustrating for passengers and we will be supporting colleagues in Network Rail to ensure the line reopens as soon as possible.

“We’re still dealing with significant flooding in the area, but we are now able to operate replacement road transport to Newtown, where rail services to Machynlleth will now start. Passengers are advised to check the Transport for Wales website, app or social media channels for the latest information before travelling.”

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