Conwy Valley Line - Now Reopened

Status
Not open for further replies.

Y Ddraig Coch

Member
Joined
1 Nov 2013
Messages
915
Local rag has a video of the first train arriving and leaving North Llanrwst yesterday morning.
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/watch-moment-first-train-runs-16604490




Trains are running once again on a storm hit line.

The first passenger train on the Conwy Valley line rolled into North Llanrwst on time at 5.47am this morning.

But because work to repair the line after flooding caused by Storm Gareth in March is continuing the train terminated at the station.

A rail replacement bus continued the service to Blaenau Ffestiniog .



First train on the Conwy Valley line since Storm Gareth leaves North Llanrwst (Image: Eryl Crump)
Just over an hour later, after the Class 150 two carriage train had switched platforms, the train returned to Llandudno Junction.

Network Rail and Transport for Wales officials hope trains will run along the entire line from next week.

Locals said they were glad to see the line open once again .
https://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/watch-moment-first-train-runs-16604490
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Joined
24 Jul 2011
Messages
212
Location
Wigan
Has the rest of the line opened today? Realtime trains shows them all as no report. http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/search/advanced/BYC/2019/07/24/0600-2000?stp=WVSC&show=all&order=wtt
Due to the way the line is signalled, real time running reports are only usually submitted at Llandudno Junction, North Llanrwst and Blaenau Ffestiniog, so Betws-y-Coed will normally show as N/R - that is of course, unless the train of the day isn't fitted with GPS.
http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/train/P71008/2019/07/24/advanced
 

Dai Corner

Established Member
Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
2,565
I notice that there's a steam excursion from Chester to Blaenau Ffestiniog in early August. It appears to be a TfW initiative rather a trip organised by a heritage operator. Did ATW ever do something similar or are TfW breaking new ground here?

https://tfwrail.wales/the-conwy-quest
I don't recall ATW doing anything, but Northern did to mark the reopening of the Settle-Carlisle line.
 

_toommm_

Established Member
Joined
8 Jul 2017
Messages
3,371
Location
Headingley
Here are some photos from the run out today - you can definitely see the condition of the track and surrounding area before the works took place, along with some of the remedial work that has took place:

Screenshot_20190725-110042_Gallery.jpg Screenshot_20190725-110038_Gallery.jpg
Screenshot_20190725-110033_Gallery.jpg
 

richpthomas

Member
Joined
31 Aug 2017
Messages
7
Next stop North Llanrwst! Transport for Wales to partner National Eisteddfod, as community gets ready to welcome visitors in their thousands

MORE than 150,000 people are set to pour into Llanrwst next week as the community gears up to host one of the most important Welsh events of the year.


As a key transport partner and one of the event's main sponsors, Transport for Wales will be pulling out all the stops to help make the week a success.

With 14 extra shuttle services each day to get people to and from the Maes now confirmed, visitors can travel with additional confidence to enjoy the event. A steam special train organised by Network Rail will kick the week off on Saturday, 3 August.

The rail industry has been facing a race against time to get ready for the Eisteddfod.

In March, Storm Gareth decimated large sections of track along the Conwy Valley line, meaning no trains have been able to run for four months.

But with just two weeks to go, the line reopened to North Llanrwst last week and in full to Blaenau Ffestiniog this week thanks to Network Rail and their contractors working almost round the clock.

Transport for Wales' Customer Experience Director Colin Lea said: "It's a massive relief that the line has now reopened and we'll certainly be doing all we can with extra services every day to make the event a success.

"As a key sponsor of the event we know just how important the National Eisteddfod is to Wales and we're delighted to be supporting it in our first year of operations.

"It's 30 years since the Eisteddfod last came to Llanrwst and you can tell just what it means to people here.

"Investing in the Welsh language is something we are incredibly passionate about, helping our customers use all our services bilingually and helping our colleagues feel more confident speaking it."

Transport for Wales and Network Rail will have a joint stall at the Eisteddfod staffed by Welsh speakers and learners.

Traditionally the National Eisteddfod rotates between north, mid and south Wales in the first week of August each year, showcasing Wales’ leading writers, musicians and poets. There is also an Urdd Eisteddfod every year which normally takes place during Whitsun week. This year, Transport for Wales was delighted to sponsor the Urdd Eisteddfod too.



Cllr Philip C Evans, Chair of the Conwy Valley Railway Partnership said: "We very much welcome the initiative shown by Network Rail and Transport for Wales in providing an enhanced service between Llandudno and Llanrwst to cater for the many thousands of Eisteddfodwyr who will visit the area. Full marks to all concerned in planning for this very special Welsh event.

Bill Kelly, Route Director for Network Rail, Wales and Borders, said: “For many people in Wales, and indeed further afield, the National Eisteddfod is a favourite event to visit and enjoy. We are very much looking forward to also be attending this globally-renowned event and all visitors are warmly welcomed to come along and chat with us at our joint stand with our partners, Transport for Wales.

“We have worked hard with our partners, to ensure Conwy Valley Line is reopen in time for the National Eisteddfod. We’d like to thank passengers and local community for their patience while we carried out this work.

“To celebrate the reopening of the line and mark the first day of the Eisteddfod, we will be hosting a special steam train trip with Transport for Wales Rail Services.”

James Price, CEO Transport for Wales said: “The National Eisteddfod is a key event in our country’s calendar and it’s great that not only will Transport for Wales be one of the main sponsors, but we’ll also play a fundamental role in the event itself by helping transport some of the 150,000 people to Llanrwst. We are on an exciting and ambitious journey at Transport for Wales, as we implement our £5 billion investment programme to transform the transport sector and create a transport network that the people of Wales can be proud of.

“At Transport for Wales we are aligned with the Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015), one of the key objectives is to help create “a Wales of Vibrant Culture and Welsh Language” and the National Eisteddfod fully celebrates this. I’d personally like to wish all the competitors the best of luck and I’m sure it will be another great event.”

National Eisteddfod Chief Executive, Betsan Moses said, “We are delighted to have Transport for Wales on board as one of the National Eisteddfod sponsors, and thank them for being the main sponsor at this year’s Science and Technology Village. We are dependent on the help of our sponsors, and support like this is invaluable on so many levels.

“The National Eisteddfod is also committed to promoting and encouraging our visitors to use public transport when visiting the festival, so we are extremely pleased that the Conwy Valley train line has reopened in time for the Eisteddfod. We hope that many of our visitors travelling from across the region will come by train to Llanrwst North station, where a shuttle bus will take them to the Maes.”

For more information on travelling to the Eisteddfod and to purchase tickets, please visit: https://tfwrail.wales/homepage
TfW have put out a press release announcing 14 additional daily services (seven round trips perhaps?), but they're not yet in the journey planner and their Twitter team doesn't know about them. Is there any suggestion yet of when they'll be? I'll be travelling up next Tuesday and would like to know if the service is going to be any better than every three hours...
 

Y Ddraig Coch

Member
Joined
1 Nov 2013
Messages
915
Actually you are quite correct. I posted without checking properly. It was quite a long lost and looked more than there usually is.

It doesn't look like they are loaded yet as you said.

I would guess there will be an extra hourly shuttle or something similar that will run inbetween the usual service while it is up at Blaenau ffestiniog.
 

BigCj34

Member
Joined
5 Apr 2016
Messages
679
Would having extra services be justified on the line? Is the line near capacity anyway? Or is it all a bit of a lost cause where unrealistic amount of investment would be required to provide a practical service for tourists and commuters alike?
 

PHILIPE

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Nov 2011
Messages
11,708
Location
Caerphilly
Would having extra services be justified on the line? Is the line near capacity anyway? Or is it all a bit of a lost cause where unrealistic amount of investment would be required to provide a practical service for tourists and commuters alike?
These possible additional services that are being discussed are only in respect of next week when the most cultural annual national event in Welsh life is taking place at Llanrwst and attracting perhaps 150,000 people during the week. Eisteddfod Genedaethol
 
Last edited:

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
48,973
Location
Yorkshire
Would having extra services be justified on the line? Is the line near capacity anyway? Or is it all a bit of a lost cause where unrealistic amount of investment would be required to provide a practical service for tourists and commuters alike?
If anyone wishes to create a discussion for suggestions for timetable and/or infrastructure improvements that are not already proposed, please create a thread in Speculative Ideas, thanks :)
 

Tomos y Tanc

Member
Joined
1 Jul 2019
Messages
328
I'm not that familiar with the line but it's a pretty sparsely populated area once you've passed Llanrwst. I think I'm right in saying that the line only escaped being axed in the 1960s because of the need to ship nuclear materials to and from Trawsfynydd and because the road over the Crimea Pass leading to Blaenau Ffestiniog was treachorous and frequently closed in winter.
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
Would having extra services be justified on the line? Is the line near capacity anyway? Or is it all a bit of a lost cause where unrealistic amount of investment would be required to provide a practical service for tourists and commuters alike?
If anyone wishes to create a discussion for suggestions for timetable and/or infrastructure improvements that are not already proposed, please create a thread in Speculative Ideas, thanks :)
Or even better, use one of the threads that already exist (Conwy Valley service patterns and Future Conwy Valley services) there! :)
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
TfW have put out a press release announcing 14 additional daily services (seven round trips perhaps?), but they're not yet in the journey planner and their Twitter team doesn't know about them. Is there any suggestion yet of when they'll be? I'll be travelling up next Tuesday and would like to know if the service is going to be any better than every three hours...
The National Eisteddfod runs from the 3rd to the 10th, so you should see increased services throughout that period (with the possible exception of Sunday).

The current service is six trains each way a day roughly three-hourly, from early morning till late, so if "14 extra shuttle services" is short-hand for seven return trips, that should make for a roughly hourly frequency for most of the day. There's no guarantee that it'll be a clockface hourly service, though, as the extras will have to work around the existing through service to Blaenau.

(I'm assuming that the extras are Llandudno/Jn to Llanrwst, as opposed to the entire length of the line, as Llanrwst-Blaenau is an eighty-minute round trip with no passing points. Even if you recast the timetable around everything passing at North Llanrwst, thirteen end-to-end return services a day, at a 90-minute frequency would require 20 hours!)
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
I'm not that familiar with the line but it's a pretty sparsely populated area once you've passed Llanrwst. I think I'm right in saying that the line only escaped being axed in the 1960s because of the need to ship nuclear materials to and from Trawsfynydd and because the road over the Crimea Pass leading to Blaenau Ffestiniog was treachorous and frequently closed in winter.
I'd agree with that assessment. It survived because the southern route from Trawsfynydd to Bala was severed by the Tryweryn reservoir (though funds for a diversion were allocated), and the Wrexham-Barmouth route that connected Bala to the mainline network was itself axed.
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
In related news, Llew Jones (operator of the 19 and X19 bus services down the Conwy Valley) published a booklet of their Eisteddfod services a week or two ago.

As well as coach trips from further afield, they have an altered timetable for their bus services due to the one-way system imposed on the bridge over the Conwy at Llanrwst.

They also list shuttle buses running every 20 minutes between the Maes and the carafan site, Maes B, and the park and ride location at Penloyn. They only list pickups from Llanrwst North timed to meet the normal train service, but I'm sure they'll also be meeting the extra services (which weren't confirmed when they went to press).
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
Another tidbit: The (presumed) seven return shuttle trips to Llanrwst North, plus the six service trains to Blaenau, will be the highest number of services on the Conwy Valley since the summer of 1961 (or 62), as seen in the timetables on 2D53.co.uk. Back then, there were four passing loops in use, rather than today's one: Tal-y-Cafn & Eglwysbach, Llanrwst & Trefriw, Betws-y-Coed, and Dolwyddelen!
 

Cambrian359

Member
Joined
17 Jun 2018
Messages
147
Will the late publishing of additional trains effect usage of the extra services? I doubt most visitors will plan their trip the day before!
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
Will the late publishing of additional trains effect usage of the extra services? I doubt most visitors will plan their trip the day before!
Local daytrippers may not have gotten further that planning which day(s) they plan to visit. Our family haven't gotten any further than picking days (partially because I knew this announcement was on its way, and didn't want to be driving down the Conwy Valley anyway).

If traffic on the A470 is bad enough to get bad press on social media early on, I'm sure some will change their plans for the rest of the week and park their cars at Llandudno or Llandudno Jn instead. And I'll put good money that the "Steam Train to the Eisteddfod" on the opening weekend will be covered in the media, and get some more people thinking about the rail option.
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
Has there been any provisional date yet issued by official sources when Dolgarrog station may be opened?
None at all. In fact, there's no mention of the station being closed on JourneyCheck either.

As there was so little mention made of the fact that Dolgarrog didn't open along with Llanrwst, it's possible they've laid a replacement platform and reopened it without any fanfare. The foundation had been laid when I visited two weeks ago, and the PIS was fully working.

I'll keep an eye out the window for you next week when I'm passing, if nobody else happens to be in the area beforehand.

Edit: now listed as closed on TfW JourneyCheck again: "Valid Rail tickets will be accepted on 19/X19 bus service operated by Llew Jones International."
 
Last edited:

richpthomas

Member
Joined
31 Aug 2017
Messages
7
Local daytrippers may not have gotten further that planning which day(s) they plan to visit. Our family haven't gotten any further than picking days (partially because I knew this announcement was on its way, and didn't want to be driving down the Conwy Valley anyway).
Those of us who are getting intercity services from far afield could really do with proper times being published earlier than at the very last minute It's a good job I long ago gave up on the possibility of advance fares, and resigned myself to getting a walk-up ticket instead!
 

Y Ddraig Coch

Member
Joined
1 Nov 2013
Messages
915
14 extra services in top of the others. Work it out

It will be every hour or so. It's hardly going to leave much time for a gap. You don't actually need to know the minute. If you miss one there will be another one shortly. Some people on here are........
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
If it helps either way, realtimetrains shows all trains 'greyed out' for Dolgarrog today, nothing at all tomorrow until 2 August inclusive, then 'normal' for 3 August.
Looks like they're manually removing the station calls week-by-week. The 3rd of August is the standard timetable (which hasn't been updated with the extra services yet.) That'll save a trip to look at the station. :)
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,594
Location
North Wales
14 extra services in top of the others. Work it out

It will be every hour or so. It's hardly going to leave much time for a gap. You don't actually need to know the minute. If you miss one there will be another one shortly. Some people on here are........
Sorry if I'm being a bit slow, but you can't book advance fares for a train that hasn't been added to the timetable yet.
The current service is six trains each way a day roughly three-hourly, from early morning till late, so if "14 extra shuttle services" is short-hand for seven return trips, that should make for a roughly hourly frequency for most of the day. There's no guarantee that it'll be a clockface hourly service, though, as the extras will have to work around the existing through service to Blaenau.

(I'm assuming that the extras are Llandudno/Jn to Llanrwst, as opposed to the entire length of the line, as Llanrwst-Blaenau is an eighty-minute round trip with no passing points. Even if you recast the timetable around everything passing at North Llanrwst, thirteen end-to-end return services a day, at a 90-minute frequency would require 20 hours!)
Having put my thinking cap on again today, an hourly service to Llanrwst, combined with the three-hourly service to Blaenau, won't be practical, as they'll end up clashing with each other. (After a Blaenau service heads south, the second hourly shuttle would meet the return service from Blaenau at Llanrwst, when they'd both want to travel north at the same time.)

A more practical solution would be a two-hourly service between Llandudno and Blaenau (with units passing each other at Llanrwst), with a shuttle between Llanrwst and Llandudno Jn in the odd hours. But if they're going to significantly alter the currently timetabled trains, TfW really ought to be giving more notice of the fact that they're going to make significant changes to the timetable for people travelling to/from Blaenau. (Turn up expecting the 1135 ex-BFF, you might discover trains now depart at 1035 and 1235.)
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top