Network Rail's Welsh director expects decision on Valley Lines this year

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aformeruser

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Will the next few years see the Welsh railway network come of age? Inevitably, much depends on what is affordable. But it also rests on other factors, crucially the political will to improve things, with decision-makers acting as a team.

Two key figures are Carl Sargeant (the Welsh Government minister responsible for transport) and Mark Langman (Network Rail’s new route director for Wales). Alas, RAIL is not privy to Sargeant’s thoughts about how the next few years may pan out, because he declined to be interviewed. Langman, however, NR’s first route director dedicated to Wales, is keener to discuss his view of the future.

A few pointers did trickle out of Sargeant’s recent statement about National Transport plan projects.

There was the aspiration: “We want to support a modern and efficient rail system in Wales” (you’d hardly expect him to say otherwise). And there was a declaration of intent: “We will use all levers at our disposal to increase our influence over the rail network and services in Wales.”

More substantial was Sargeant’s assertion that the Welsh Government is “leading the work to produce the business case” for electrifying the main line from Swansea to Cardiff and the Valley Lines, “working closely with Network Rail and the Department for Transport”. According to Langman, a decision on the Valleys is due later this year.

For Langman, what matters more than a politician’s warm words is the fact that rail emerged “relatively unscathed” from Sargeant’s recent national transport plan. So he’s eager to build up relationships with bodies that have some clout.

http://www.railmagazine.com/news/default.asp?storyID=2
 
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Terrafire

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Will the next few years see the Welsh railway network come of age? Inevitably, much depends on what is affordable. But it also rests on other factors, crucially the political will to improve things, with decision-makers acting as a team.

Two key figures are Carl Sargeant (the Welsh Government minister responsible for transport) and Mark Langman (Network Rail’s new route director for Wales). Alas, RAIL is not privy to Sargeant’s thoughts about how the next few years may pan out, because he declined to be interviewed. Langman, however, NR’s first route director dedicated to Wales, is keener to discuss his view of the future.

A few pointers did trickle out of Sargeant’s recent statement about National Transport plan projects.

There was the aspiration: “We want to support a modern and efficient rail system in Wales” (you’d hardly expect him to say otherwise). And there was a declaration of intent: “We will use all levers at our disposal to increase our influence over the rail network and services in Wales.”

More substantial was Sargeant’s assertion that the Welsh Government is “leading the work to produce the business case” for electrifying the main line from Swansea to Cardiff and the Valley Lines, “working closely with Network Rail and the Department for Transport”. According to Langman, a decision on the Valleys is due later this year.

For Langman, what matters more than a politician’s warm words is the fact that rail emerged “relatively unscathed” from Sargeant’s recent national transport plan. So he’s eager to build up relationships with bodies that have some clout.

http://www.railmagazine.com/news/default.asp?storyID=2
A proper Cardiff and Valleys metro system,with 4tph+, would be transformational. It will happen eventually, but will any of us here still be alive?
 

WatcherZero

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Im expecting to see it featured in the next Control Period alongside a devoloution putting WAG in charge to oversee the investment.
Is it April the Government gives its next Control Period approval? Budget is March so kinda makes sense.
 

aformeruser

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A proper Cardiff and Valleys metro system,with 4tph+, would be transformational. It will happen eventually, but will any of us here still be alive?
Remember putting EMUs on the Valley Lines in place of 142/150s will mean an increase in capacity without increasing services, especially considering the ATW 142/150s are all 2+2 seating.
 

anthony263

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Hopefully electrification of the valley lines will get the go ahead as something needs to be done. Perhaps wiring Bridgend - Swansea will also be included if the Maesteg branch is to be wired.
 

PHILIPE

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It has to be realised that WAG take ages to come to a decision on anything so don't hold out any hopes for a decision. If it's a nanny state matter, they soon act but neglect important issues. They are known for being a talking shop.
 

Greenback

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It has to be realised that WAG take ages to come to a decision on anything so don't hold out any hopes for a decision. If it's a nanny state matter, they soon act but neglect important issues. They are known for being a talking shop.
All the WG need to believe is that Valleys electrification will stop people smoking and drinking, and it will be announced in a week. :lol:

I won't hold my breath, Saltney and Gowerton have been talked about for a few years and nothing has happeend yet, and as for the Cambrian...

Electrification of the Valleys is such an obvious win that I doubt it will be completed before 2100 (and I don't mean the hour).
 

Gareth Marston

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142/143/150 will all be DDA non compliant in 2020 and be over 35 years old and life expired a decision on replacement will be forced upon whoever its good to see NR pushing Valleys Electrification.
 

swt_passenger

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Is it April the Government gives its next Control Period approval? Budget is March so kinda makes sense.
There's a timetable published somewhere or other...

{searches DfT website...}

http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/villiers-20110928/letter-HLOS-process.pdf

Next key dates are:

"At the end of Feb 2012, the ORR will publish advice to both the Secretary of State and Scottish Ministers on developing their HLOS and SoFA."

"Taking account of the ORR advice and the choices and options in the IIP, the two Governments will each publish their HLOS and SoFA by July 2012."

No mention at that date (sept 2011) of Welsh expenditure being devolved though.
 

Trog

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All the WG need to believe is that Valleys electrification will stop people smoking and drinking, and it will be announced in a week. :lol:

Time to start spreading a rumour that the local kids are hanging over railway bridges, in an attempt to breathe in the diesel exhaust fumes.
 

aformeruser

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142/143/150 will all be DDA non compliant in 2020 and be over 35 years old and life expired a decision on replacement will be forced upon whoever its good to see NR pushing Valleys Electrification.
The 143s will be just under the 35 year mark when the DDA requirement starts on 1st Jan 2020.

The 150s can be made complaint enough to stay in service, although in an ideal world they would be replaced. Most already have a wheelchair space, some have the new door controls and some have accessible toilets. New internal and external displays are the bit no 150 seems to have but they are also the bit that could be easily salvaged for future use before the trains are scrapped.

Don't forget ATW have some 150s in operation in the northern part of their franchise - Conwy Valley, Bidston-Wrexham, Chester-Crewe and Crewe-Shrewsbury so Valley Lines electrification alone will not get rid of the 150s.
 

WatcherZero

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No mention at that date (sept 2011) of Welsh expenditure being devolved though.
Yeah its a recent and low key thing, the Governments been quietly negotiating deals with PTE's and other transport bodies to devolve capital budgets with deals to be signed off and announced at the budget (since devolution occurs in budgets).
 

tbtc

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Yeah its a recent and low key thing, the Governments been quietly negotiating deals with PTE's and other transport bodies to devolve capital budgets with deals to be signed off and announced at the budget (since devolution occurs in budgets).
Call me cynical, but funny how Westminster is keener to devolve these spending decisions to local areas when there's a costly decision to be made regarding replacement fleets...

I won't hold my breath, Saltney and Gowerton have been talked about for a few years and nothing has happeend yet, and as for the Cambrian...
Ah, but these are all big spending decisions in "more rural" parts of Wales... despite the accusations of "Cardiff bias" that get shouted around, there seems to have been significantly more spent (per person) on infrastructure improvements in "marginal" constituencies far away from the Valleys

I'd have put Valley electrification ahead of the schemes you've listed, but I guess it has a lot to do with the politics of those making the decisions...

All the WG need to believe is that Valleys electrification will stop people smoking and drinking, and it will be announced in a week. :lol:
Time to start spreading a rumour that the local kids are hanging over railway bridges, in an attempt to breathe in the diesel exhaust fumes.
Get the WAG to introduced Third Rail electrification of the Valley Lines and help keep some of the idiots away from the tracks... :lol:
 

anthony263

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Get the WAG to introduced Third Rail electrification of the Valley Lines and help keep some of the idiots away from the tracks... :lol:
Don't go giving them idea's someone might suggest using D stock to work services on the Cardiff Valley lines next.

Either that or some class 315's (Certainly hope not- some nice class 377's please if the go ahead for electrification is given)
 

Terrafire

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Ah, but these are all big spending decisions in "more rural" parts of Wales... despite the accusations of "Cardiff bias" that get shouted around, there seems to have been significantly more spent (per person) on infrastructure improvements in "marginal" constituencies far away from the Valleys

I'd have put Valley electrification ahead of the schemes you've listed, but I guess it has a lot to do with the politics of those making the decisions...
Definitely, the valleys have lost out for a long time now because they're so dependably Labour that there's absolutely no political advantage in addressing constituents' issues. Slightly off-topic, but an American-style primary system for choosing the Labour candidates for AM and MP would be a good idea for those seats, just to get some democratic engagement back on the part of politicians.
 
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