Ebbw Vale Town - Open for Business

Discussion in 'Trip Planning & Reports' started by headshot119, 17 May 2015.

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  1. headshot119

    headshot119 Established Member

    31 Dec 2010
    Firstly I'd like to say a thank you to everyone for highlighting the opening of the new extension from Ebbw Vale Parkway - Ebbw Vale Town in various other threads on the forum.

    Secondly I'd like to thank Kofieye for challenging me to be on the first train!

    03:30 this morning I went to sleep after finishing a shift in work.

    And at 06:30 on the dot I was awake again, ready to get the 07:38 Cardiff Central to Ebbw Vale Town service. As when I did the Pye Corner Opening I faced a walk to Cardiff Central in order to catch the train as my local stations don't get an early enough Sunday service. Not being awake enough for the walk, I ordered a taxi and arrived in plenty of time.

    Ironically I had the same ticket clerk who served me for my Pye Corner tickets and he commented that I was again the first to buy a ticket from him for the new station.

    [​IMG]Tickets by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    I made my way up to platform 1 and had a walk round to kill the time. I became concerned when I noticed each road heading towards Newport had a detonator and stop board in situe, would my trip be going ahead or would a late running possession scupper my plans!

    [​IMG]Cardiff Central Departure Board by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    [​IMG]Line under possession by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    [​IMG]43189 08:00 Cardiff Central - London Paddington (1L32) by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    Within ten or fifteen minutes some Network Rail staff turned up and removed the detonators and stop boards, looks like the trip would go ahead after all!

    [​IMG]Signal Off by Karl [Headshot119], on FlickrT

    Off we set bang on time, this time heading down the Main Lines before diverging at Gaer Junction onto the Ebbw Vale branch, passing Park Junction, and then making a station stop at Pye Corner, where around twenty enthusiasts joined the train, presumably for the same reasons I was aboard.

    I've done the Ebbw Vale line through to Ebbw Vale Parkway once before, but I spent most of the journey observing the passing scenery.

    We arrived at Ebbw Vale Parkway, where we sat for two minutes, before setting off onto the new track.

    There's a huge amount of work gone into the construction of the new section, and there is evidence of the track bed being wide enough for a future two track section.

    We arrived at Ebbw Vale Town to a packed platform, full of locals and staff witnessing the arrival of the first train; interestingly no one on the train was sure which side the platform was on! (It's on the right side on arrival from Cardiff)

    I was up and at the door, and was the first passenger to have his foot on the platform, another claim to fame with the grand kids.

    [​IMG]On the Blocks at Ebbw Vale Town by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    [​IMG]On the Blocks at Ebbw Vale Town by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    [​IMG]Station Name Board by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    [​IMG]Looking towards the blocks by Karl [Headshot119], on Flickr

    Unfortunately being a Sunday launch and having just come off a night shift I didn't get as much time as I'd have liked to photograph the station. But none the less I enjoyed the trip, and it's nice to see new railway lines opening in the UK.

    An uneventful return trip followed, and it was nice to see a lot of people boarding the train at Ebbw Vale Town for the first service.
    Last edited: 17 May 2015
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  3. Gathursty

    Gathursty Established Member

    31 May 2011
    Very good report. I will have to get down there at some point. I may hold off until Newcourt and Cranbook are in commission to give me a bit more of a reason for a journey down south. :)
  4. Devonman2014

    Devonman2014 Member

    21 Jan 2015
    I believe although please don't quote me on this but Newcourt (Exmouth branch) opened today , or was at least due to.

    Cranbrook I have no idea about !
  5. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

    16 May 2010
    Newcourt's been delayed for a short time for problems I can't recall. Cranbrook is due in high summer I believe.
  6. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

    19 Jun 2005
    Nowhere Heath
    Nicely done, I'll be up there in June I suspect. I'd have gone today if I hadn't already been booked on another trip!
  7. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

    27 Jan 2014
    West of Andover
    Gives me something extra to do on my Super FOSS in July. :)
  8. adrock1976

    adrock1976 Established Member

    10 Dec 2013
    It is my intention to do the Ebbw Vale line at the end of July, when I will be fitting it in when bashing the Valley Lines network.

    Also, I will be attempting the special service that runs from Builth Road to Cardiff Central via Swansea District Railway. I will have completed all three sides of the triangle at Morlais Junction/Hendy Junction if it all goes to plan.

    In peace

  9. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

    18 May 2012
    Well done again Headshot! Important reporting! :D I will look forward to my trip. Excellent that they are building on the success of the branch and making an effort to develop the route. Well done to the Welsh Government :D
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