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Valleys train line to close to make way for transformation of oldest railway infrastructure in Wales

22 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Photo: Transport for Wales

A train line in the south Wales valleys will completely close until next year as some of the oldest railway infrastructure in Wales is set for a complete transformation as part of the South Wales Metro.

The sheer scale of work needed on the on the Treherbert Line will mean the route between Pontypridd and Treherbert will be closed from 30 April 2023 until early 2024.

No train services will operate during this time.

During the Treherbert Line transformation, Transport for Wales (TfW) will be offering 50% off the cost of travel for people living in the Rhondda.

The offer will apply for journeys wholly on the line and journeys between stations on the line and locations through to Cardiff Central.

During the eight months of work there will be a rail replacement bus service for customers, consisting of a core timetable of one bus every 30 minutes stopping at all stations.

A dedicated school support plan for Treorchy Comprehensive School and morning and evening peak enhancement to reduce journey times and add capacity will also be included.

Token exchange at Porth – Photo: TfW


The ‘Token Exchange Signalling System’ currently used on the Treherbert Line was first introduced in Britain in the mid-19th century and some of the equipment still in use today is believed to date back to the 1930s.

It will now be removed and replaced with a modern, brand-new signalling system for the entire line as part of the South Wales Metro project.

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “This is a massive investment that will make a huge difference to all passengers.

“There will inevitably be disruption and inconvenience in the short term but it will bring an enormous improvement. Please bear with us, it will be worth it.”

The work will also include the diversion of gas and water mains, new station platforms at Treherbert, Ynyswen and Dinas Rhondda, new footbridges at Ynyswen and Dinas Rhondda, and the installation of new track and overhead lines.

Further work includes new and refurbished toilets, waiting rooms, shelters and the installation or upgrade of help points, CCTV cameras, ticket machines and customer information screens.


Karl Gilmore, Transport for Wales, Rail Infrastructure Director said: “We know it’s going to be hugely inconvenient while the line is closed between April and early 2024, but transforming the dated railway line and bringing it right up-to-date with a modern, electrified line that will allow us to run more frequent and greener services, giving the people of the Rhondda a rail service they deserve.

“Rail replacement services will run throughout the Treherbert Line transformation and customers wanting further information should check online or using our app.”

During the first two weeks of the work on the Treherbert Line the lines to Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil will also be closed for South Wales Metro transformation work.

Journey planning tools will be updated with the bus replacement information from 28 March.

The transformation of the Core Valley Lines for the Metro has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government, and promises faster, more frequent services between Cardiff and the heads of the valleys.

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