Watch: Railway engineer who says Welsh rail map ‘a mess’ offers route for north-south rail link
A railway engineer has proposed a route for a north-south Wales rail link on his YouTube show.
Gareth Dennis said that the “Welsh railway network is a mess – in fact, there isn’t really a ‘Welsh’ network at all, it is just a series of branches of the English one”.
However, rather than the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen link campaigned for by Trawslink Cymru, he said that any route would ideally go up the east of Wales as it would link larger main population centres which are home to over 5,000 people – including Brecon, Llandrindod Wells, Newtown, Welshpool and Wrexham.
In comparison, a railway up the west of Wales would only link up Carmarthen, Aberystwyth and Bangor, he said.
Gareth Dennis is a lecturer in rail infrastructure at BCRRE and other institutions, and presents a weekly show called RailNatter on YouTube, where he presented his possible rail map of Wales.
“If you’re going to have a north-south connection in Wales, if you’re going to invest in the infrastructure, surely do it where you’re going to connect up the most people and actually connect up the largest kind of centres of population,” he said.
He said that the “obvious major high-density connections” were Swansea-Cardiff-Newport, and then “if you add those 5,000 places you can see where that network really ends up”.
“If you want to see where the north-south connection is, it is not on the coast. It’s from Brecon, up to Builth Wells, and then Newtown, and then up.”
He added that you “might just for the sake of connecting up a population centre, ignoring the boundary – it might be a bit mean to skirt around the Welsh border, but maybe you would – it might make more sense to go and connect Oswestry up. Because Oswestry has no railway station – it’s a huge town with no connections”.
“But we’re not doing this for England, we’re doing it for Wales.”
You can see Gareth Dennis’ entire plan for Wales’ railway network here.
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