Ebbw Vale - Newport services funding secured

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Tomos y Tanc

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The seemingly neverending saga of linking the Ebbw Valley line to Newport seems to be reaching a conclusion.

Newport-Ebbw Vale rail line to be restored with £70-million loan


A £70 million loan will be offered to Blaenau Gwent council to take forward plans to restore the rail line between Newport and Ebbw Vale.


The funding will enable the long-awaited restoration of direct rail links between Newport and Ebbw Vale.


Welsh Government has announced the funding as part of its new transport strategy which was published today (Friday).


The interest-free loan will enable infrastructure improvements to be taken forward alongside Network Rail and Transport for Wales.


In a ministerial statement, the Welsh Government said the work will “secure the additional service between Newport and Ebbw Vale, and help unlock our jointly held aspirations to re-open the spur to Abertillery ultimately increasing services to four trains per hour”.
 
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cle

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Will this loan include the second platforms at Ebbw/Llan, and loops?

And will service be 1tph Cardiff, 1 tph Newport? Or might the Newport reverse and go to Cardiff after?

Assuming Abertillery would be 2tph by that statement. Same mix of Cardiff and Newport likely?
 

Dai Corner

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Others will know better than me but I'm guessing it includes completing the abandoned redoubling work.
Trains can already use the line between Park Junction and Gaer Junction and indeed have done so occasionally during engineering work between Ebbw Junction and Cardiff.

I've read elsewhere that the work will include finishing the redoubling as well as resignalling.
 

PHILIPE

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Will this loan include the second platforms at Ebbw/Llan, and loops?

And will service be 1tph Cardiff, 1 tph Newport? Or might the Newport reverse and go to Cardiff after?

Assuming Abertillery would be 2tph by that statement. Same mix of Cardiff and Newport likely?

The funding has just been acquired so details of services will follow at some stage.
 

anthony263

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Think the money is to complete the necessary double track sections. Tfw plan was a Newport to Crosskeys shuttle till all the double track work is completed
 

Tomos y Tanc

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It should always have gone to Newport in the first place.
Ideally, it should have gone to both. The difficulty has always been that passengers from the northern (Blaenau Gwent) section of the line generally want to travel to Cardiff because of the employment, shopping & leisure opportunities. That's why the MS for the Blaenau continually presses for 4 tph to Cardiff, ignoring Newport entirely.

The southern (Islwyn) end of the line passes through place like Rogerstone and Risca which are essentially suburbs of Newport and so there's demand on that section for services to Newport.

We shall see but I suspect that when Newport services do start they'll carry far lighter loads for much shorter distances than the Cardiff ones especially outside peak hours.
 
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daodao

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The Welsh Government written statement to coincide with the launch of this new strategy includes the phrase:
and help unlock our jointly held aspirations to re-open the spur to Abertillery ultimately increasing services to 4 trains per hour.

This is a welcome commitment to improve public transport in the western Gwent valleys, which are far more deserving and worthy of rail investment than some of the fantasy re-openings through depopulated rural areas promoted elsewhere on RailUKforums.

However, it is unclear how much of the promised funding is to assist with re-opening this additional branch line to Abertillery, a town of over 10k only 3 miles from the junction with the existing Ebbw Vale line at Aberbeeg. Is there any further information available, including about exactly what services are eventually envisaged to both Ebbw Vale and to Abertillery? The document itself provides no detailed information about specific proposals.
 

DelW

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It's described in the OP's quote as "Welsh Government ... funding", but is there any indication of how and when Blaenau Gwent council, or realistically its tax-payers, will be expected to repay the £70 million? It seems a large sum for what is not a very wealthy area.
 

Bald Rick

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This is a welcome commitment to improve public transport in the western Gwent valleys, which are far more deserving and worthy of rail investment than some of the fantasy re-openings through depopulated rural areas promoted elsewhere on RailUKforums.

Agreed. In my view Abertillery is right at the top of ‘reopening’ projects that should be studied. Likely to have a far better case than almost any other proposal that involves reinstating a long closed railway.
 
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