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Passengers urged to check Easter travel timetables as major rail works begin

09 Apr 2022 3 minute read
Ebbw Vale Line investment – Llanhilleth Station image by Network Rail

Rail passengers are being urged to check timetables and services before travelling over the Easter weekend as work begins to transform the Ebbw Vale line.

The company says it has timed the work for the bank holiday weekend as fewer passengers travel at this time.

From 23.35 on Thursday 14 April to 05.40 on Tuesday 19 April, Network Rail and its contractors will be working 24 hours a day to carry out major track work, ground investigations, maintenance, and surveys between Ebbw Vale Town and Cardiff Central.

Buses will replace trains between Cardiff Central and Ebbw Vale Town from 15 – 18 April so passengers are advised to check before travelling via

Engineers will be working at Llanhilleth station to tamp the track alongside the platform which involves picking up the track and compressing the stones underneath the rails to secure the foundations.

The company says that teams will also be working around the clock at several locations between Aberbeeg and Crosskeys station to install guard rails, which help to stabilise trains whilst travelling on the railway.

Elsewhere on the line, a number of maintenance activities, ground investigations and surveys will also be carried out.

Sian Bowers, senior sponsor from Network Rail said: “We have timed with major upgrade work to take place over the bank holiday as that’s when fewer passengers travel on the railway.

“We’d like to thank local communities and passengers in advance for bearing with us and apologise for any disruption that we may cause.”

Major investment

Later this year, Network Rail and its contractors will begin major work to build brand-new platforms at Llanhilleth and Newbridge stations and a new footbridge with lifts at Llanhilleth station, making the stations fully accessible for the first time.

Funded by Blaenau Gwent Council, supported by a loan from the Welsh Government, the £70m investment includes laying new track which will allow a new hourly passenger service between Ebbw Vale Town and Newport.

A £17m signalling upgrade – funded by Network Rail via the Department for Transport – will be delivered at the southern end of the line and a state-of-the-art signalling system will be installed and controlled from the Wales Route Operating Centre in Cardiff.

Local communities are invited to ‘drop-in’ events to meet with the project team and find out more about its plans on:

  • Tuesday 10 May, 3pm – 7pm at Newbridge Memo, NP11 4FH
  • Tuesday 17 May, 3pm – 7pm at Llanhilleth Miner’s Institute, NP13 2JT
  • Monday 23 May, 3pm – 7pm at Crosskeys Rugby Club, NP11 7BS

Sian Bowers, senior sponsor from Network Rail continued: “This is a really exciting project that will transform rail travel for passengers, so I’d urge anyone wishing to find out more to come along to one of our drop-in events.”

James Price, Transport for Wales Chief Executive, said: “We are very pleased to see Network Rail’s planned improvements for passengers on the Ebbw Vale line are getting underway, as these upgrades are going to make a huge difference to the local communities this line serves.

“We would like to remind passengers buses will replace trains this Easter weekend (15-18th March) and they will be stopping at all stations between Cardiff and Ebbw Vale Town. We would like to thank everyone for their patience.”

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