South Wales electrification

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Sun!

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On Wales Today at lunch time David Cameron was being interviewed and promised that the gov would electrify at least some of the Valleys Lines.

He said that it would happen after consultation with all the parties (i.e WAG).

This is the first time its been confirmed.(?)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17619922
 
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anthony263

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Yes it is the 1st time I have heard firm confirmation in fact i am surprised it hasnt been picked up on other forums yet although I suspect it will in the next few hours.

Thanks for posting this.


Great news though cant wait til I get to go up the cardiff valley lines on an EMU. I wonder if there will be a farewell pacer tour?:D
 

DXMachina

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Asking as someone without the detailed geographical knowledge some members show..

Are there obvious inter-operation benefits to electrifying some other suburban routes to Cardiff in terms of electric services being able to continue ?

I don't know whether any through services currently exist between stations known to be electrified under the GWML scheme and stations on the valley lines, or whether the justification for this project will be simply the cheaper nature of electric to diesel operation and / or projected increased revenue from faster services

Further: It's been stated here that GWML freight trains probably won't go over to electric haulage, due to relief lines and links to rail yards not being wired as part of the passenger electrification program. Would wiring the Valleys cover some of the possible end-points and allow 86 and 9x series locomotives to be useful?
 

WelshZ

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Asking as someone without the detailed geographical knowledge some members show..

Are there obvious inter-operation benefits to electrifying some other suburban routes to Cardiff in terms of electric services being able to continue ?

I don't know whether any through services currently exist between stations known to be electrified under the GWML scheme and stations on the valley lines, or whether the justification for this project will be simply the cheaper nature of electric to diesel operation and / or projected increased revenue from faster services

Further: It's been stated here that GWML freight trains probably won't go over to electric haulage, due to relief lines and links to rail yards not being wired as part of the passenger electrification program. Would wiring the Valleys cover some of the possible end-points and allow 86 and 9x series locomotives to be useful?
As a regular user of the valley lines the only freight I could see is the spoil from Tower to Aberthaw if the VoG is electrified. and from the look of it the EMU'S that are going to take over are going to be 315's from East Anglia which will make things intresting on longer runs such as Merthyr-Bridgend
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Yes it is the 1st time I have heard firm confirmation in fact i am surprised it hasnt been picked up on other forums yet although I suspect it will in the next few hours.
Thanks for posting this.
Great news though cant wait til I get to go up the cardiff valley lines on an EMU. I wonder if there will be a farewell pacer tour?:D
This is what was in the Treasury Budget document last month.
Cameron is simply repeating this.
"Something we want to do" isn't the same as "doing it".

2.253 Welsh Valley rail lines – The Government will continue to work with the Welsh
Government to consider electrification of the Welsh Valley lines subject to value for money and
an agreement on financing. A final decision will be announced in the summer 2012 as part of
the five year investment plan for the railway (2014–15 to 2018–19).


Note no mention of Swansea.
All will no doubt be clear in the CP5 HLOS due in July.
Other projects will be vying for the same money.
 

Greenback

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Asking as someone without the detailed geographical knowledge some members show..

Are there obvious inter-operation benefits to electrifying some other suburban routes to Cardiff in terms of electric services being able to continue ?

I don't know whether any through services currently exist between stations known to be electrified under the GWML scheme and stations on the valley lines, or whether the justification for this project will be simply the cheaper nature of electric to diesel operation and / or projected increased revenue from faster services

Further: It's been stated here that GWML freight trains probably won't go over to electric haulage, due to relief lines and links to rail yards not being wired as part of the passenger electrification program. Would wiring the Valleys cover some of the possible end-points and allow 86 and 9x series locomotives to be useful?
I would have thought that the answer would depend very much on the definition of Valley Lines.

My own preference is to use the term to describe the Cardiff Valleys - the lines to Rhymney, Merthyr, Aberdare, Treherbert, Barry Island, Penarth, Cardiff Bay and Coryton. However, the Valley Lines Day Explorer also covers the Vale of Glamorgan line and the Maesteg and Ebbw Vale branches. personally I think that there is less of a priority for the latter three lines, as they have only 1 train an hour compared with 2-4tph on the main sections.

I'm not sure of the current plans for the VoG section, even if the South Wales Main Line is electrified to Swansea it's doubtful that the Vale would be electrified as well as far as I can see.

There are no through services as far as I am aware from stations due to be electrified under the GWML scheme. As to freight, there is very little freight in the Valleys themselves now. As I see it, the business case for Valleys electrification is based on improved acceleration, leading to faster journey times, leading to better frequencies and greater capacity. Hopefully this will then el;ad to better revenue which, allied with lower running costs, will mean lower subsidies in future decades.
 

HSTEd

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Wait, are they actually not electrifying the relief lines on the GWML as part of the modernisation scheme?

I thought that was just a rumour....
How would such a thing even save any money? Surely all the gantries would have to be positioned over all four lines anyway.
 

anthony263

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The only problem with not wiring the vale of glamorgan line is that the hourly service currently runs from Merthyr Tydfil and the return from Bridgend runs to Aberdare.

I know it was planned to divert 1 train per hour from Barry Island to run to Bridgend instead giving a train every 30 minutes to Barry Island and Bridgend via the Vale Of Glamorgan.

The main problem as to why there is only 1 train per hour on the Vale fo glamorgan line is the lack of rolling stock.
 

Greenback

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The only problem with not wiring the vale of glamorgan line is that the hourly service currently runs from Merthyr Tydfil and the return from Bridgend runs to Aberdare.

I know it was planned to divert 1 train per hour from Barry Island to run to Bridgend instead giving a train every 30 minutes to Barry Island and Bridgend via the Vale Of Glamorgan.

The main problem as to why there is only 1 train per hour on the Vale fo glamorgan line is the lack of rolling stock.
Presumably, if the VoG is not electrified, the timetable will be rejigged and diagrams amended so that through running will not be required.

Of course, we don't know what will happen at the moment, I think much might depend on whether the wires get to Swansea. Personally, I can see little sense in electrifying the VoG to Bridgend while leaving the main line to Swansea unwired!
 

anthony263

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Presumably, if the VoG is not electrified, the timetable will be rejigged and diagrams amended so that through running will not be required.

Of course, we don't know what will happen at the moment, I think much might depend on whether the wires get to Swansea. Personally, I can see little sense in electrifying the VoG to Bridgend while leaving the main line to Swansea unwired!
I agree with your opinion as yes it is stupid not to wire to Swansea & Maesteg as well as the vale of glamorgan line.

I wonder if it might then be posisble for a through service from the vale of glamorgan line to Maesteg once the loop near Tondu is sorted
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
As a regular user of the valley lines the only freight I could see is the spoil from Tower to Aberthaw if the VoG is electrified. and from the look of it the EMU'S that are going to take over are going to be 315's from East Anglia which will make things intresting on longer runs such as Merthyr-Bridgend
I seriously hope they give those class 315's a good overhaul and refurbishment as a lot of them are in a dismal condition
 

eastwestdivide

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Don't get ahead of yourselves, people - the PM's reported as saying "the government wants to" which is a long way from "will".
 

Sun!

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This is more than something we hope to do IMO.

Let me quote-
'We're also going to be going ahead with the electrification of the Valleys Lines'
'Can you confirm that?'
'Yes, its in black and white... (Details about working out costs with WAG)'
'All or some of the Valleys Line network?
'As set out at the time of the budget'
 

Rhydgaled

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Presumably, if the VoG is not electrified, the timetable will be rejigged and diagrams amended so that through running will not be required.
Unless you run Barry - Bridgend all by itself you are going to have diesels under the wires. I suppose you might be able to leave Penarth and Barry Island unwired too and terminate the diesels from all Vale Of Glamorgan routes at Cardiff. However you wouldn't also be able to terminate everything coming down from the valleys north of Cardiff. You could run one an hour through to Maesteg, and another to Swansea as the Swanline, but I doubt that'd be enough. In my opinion you need to wire all the way through from Merthyr to Bridgend via Barry.

Refering to the first post, I think the Cardiff - Taunton service should go electric (cut back to Bristol is you're being stingy with the wires). Ideally there would be wires to Swansea and it could be Swansea - Bristol.

'All or some of the Valleys Line network?
'As set out at the time of the budget'
So, what was defined as the ValleyLines network at the time of the budget?
 

Greenback

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Unless you run Barry - Bridgend all by itself you are going to have diesels under the wires. I suppose you might be able to leave Penarth and Barry Island unwired too and terminate the diesels from all Vale Of Glamorgan routes at Cardiff. However you wouldn't also be able to terminate everything coming down from the valleys north of Cardiff. You could run one an hour through to Maesteg, and another to Swansea as the Swanline, but I doubt that'd be enough. In my opinion you need to wire all the way through from Merthyr to Bridgend via Barry.
There are so many if's and but's that almost anything could happen! The permutations of what may and may not be wired are almost endless!

I don't think it would be the end of the world to run diesels under the wires as far as Barry, assuming that electrification goes to Barry Island but not Bridgend. There may be an additional platform at queen St to help with terminating services from the Pontypridd direction, and it may well be possible to run extra services through to barry and penarth. I believe some services terminate at Central at the moment too.

I still think it may only be the 'core' section wired - Penarth, Barry Island, Coryton, Treherbert, aberdare, Merthyr and Rhymney. Come to think of it, is it worth wiring the Bay branch?
 

anthony263

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There are so many if's and but's that almost anything could happen! The permutations of what may and may not be wired are almost endless!

I don't think it would be the end of the world to run diesels under the wires as far as Barry, assuming that electrification goes to Barry Island but not Bridgend. There may be an additional platform at queen St to help with terminating services from the Pontypridd direction, and it may well be possible to run extra services through to barry and penarth. I believe some services terminate at Central at the moment too.

I still think it may only be the 'core' section wired - Penarth, Barry Island, Coryton, Treherbert, aberdare, Merthyr and Rhymney. Come to think of it, is it worth wiring the Bay branch?
I would say so especially since it is useful to run some valley lines services down to Cardiff bay if the line is closed between Cardiff Central & Cardiff Queen street.
 

Squaddie

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The interview with David Cameron has just been repeated on BBC Wales Today, and he said that the government "will be going ahead" with the electrification of the Valleys lines. That seems fairly definite.

When asked if that meant the entire valley line network, he said "as laid out at the time of the budget".
 

WelshZ

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It seems it is settled then, that leaves what kind of rolling stock are we going to see as a result of this. Decrepit old 315's that are going to be cascaded or lucky enough to get a new build
 

anthony263

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It seems it is settled then, that leaves what kind of rolling stock are we going to see as a result of this. Decrepit old 315's that are going to be cascaded or lucky enough to get a new build

I wouldn't be too surprised if it was class 315's particulary if a number of them are displaced once crossrail is up and running.

I would prefer brand new emu's but if refurbished & overhauled class 315's means that we get the valley lines wired them I am happy to put up with the class 315's for a couple of years when hopefully some new emu's could be ordered.

That said if the wires do go to Swansea some new emu's with a top speed of 100mph should be ordered for the Swanline & Ebbw Vale services to take into account of the higher line speeds on the SWML.
 

Greenback

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I wouldn't be too surprised if it was class 315's particulary if a number of them are displaced once crossrail is up and running.

I would prefer brand new emu's but if refurbished & overhauled class 315's means that we get the valley lines wired them I am happy to put up with the class 315's for a couple of years when hopefully some new emu's could be ordered.

That said if the wires do go to Swansea some new emu's with a top speed of 100mph should be ordered for the Swanline & Ebbw Vale services to take into account of the higher line speeds on the SWML.
I agree. There will come a point in the not too distant future when the 315's will have to be replaced, the question is will there be new stock then, or more hand me downs?

I would love to see Swansea wired up and new electric trains running through to Bristol!
 

IanXC

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I agree. There will come a point in the not too distant future when the 315's will have to be replaced, the question is will there be new stock then, or more hand me downs?

I would love to see Swansea wired up and new electric trains running through to Bristol!
Thinking of the West Yorkshire experience I'd go for the 315s. Gives chance to see how much sparks effect there'll be, and improves the initial investment decision - perhaps increasing the number of routes wired.

 

anthony263

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Thinking of the West Yorkshire experience I'd go for the 315s. Gives chance to see how much sparks effect there'll be, and improves the initial investment decision - perhaps increasing the number of routes wired.

A very good point and I suspect your staement is something everyone here can agree with especially we could copy what ahppened in yorkshire where they had old emu's from London before replacing them with the class 333's.

I also would like to see the wires reach Swansea and I think wiring the valley lines will help boost the argument for the wires extending west of Cardiff.

Now we can hope the relief lines and loops are wired as well I certainly would like to see some class 90's etc running on the SWML
 

Greenback

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Thinking of the West Yorkshire experience I'd go for the 315s. Gives chance to see how much sparks effect there'll be, and improves the initial investment decision - perhaps increasing the number of routes wired.

Indeed, but what might come after the 315's? Something new?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Now we can hope the relief lines and loops are wired as well I certainly would like to see some class 90's etc running on the SWML
It would make sense to do it all at once, but sense is something we don;t appear to have much of in the UK, at least not at the highest levels in DafT!
 

HSTEd

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Indeed, if previous projects are anything to go by (even if that is with BB Mark 3 equipment) each vehicle is equivalent to approximately two track kilometres of overhead wiring.

That means that we could be looking at 550km of extra wiring if the Class 315s are retained in service for another decade or two.
 

Stats

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The interview with David Cameron has just been repeated on BBC Wales Today, and he said that the government "will be going ahead" with the electrification of the Valleys lines. That seems fairly definite.
Politicians always miss off the caveats as it does not make for a good soundbite. In this case they are "subject to value for money and an agreement on financing."
 

tbtc

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Asking as someone without the detailed geographical knowledge some members show..

Are there obvious inter-operation benefits to electrifying some other suburban routes to Cardiff in terms of electric services being able to continue ?

I don't know whether any through services currently exist between stations known to be electrified under the GWML scheme and stations on the valley lines, or whether the justification for this project will be simply the cheaper nature of electric to diesel operation and / or projected increased revenue from faster services
Off the top of my head, you need 33 DMUs to run the off=peak services that pass through Cardiff Queen Street (assuming no peak extras, assuming no doubling up of units, assuming no maintenance "spares etc).

So, allowing for peak extras/ doubling up of certain services/ maintenance, you are probably talking around a quarter of the total number of Pacers that need replacing - this is a sizeable sum (considerably more than you'd get for wiring a similar length of line further north in the UK).

That's assuming that Maesteg/ Ebbw Vale etc don't get wired - they are operationally separate from the "Valley" lines and not as frequent.

In the (sadly now closed) WAG Express thread there was much boasting of the powers that the WAG now have (in terms of what they can spend money on). That's great, but the "double edged" part of it is that it does mean the WAG putting their hands into their pocket rather than relying on Dave in Westminster getting his chequebook out.

Definitely worth doing - it would rid ATW of all of their Pacers (and be a natural home for the displaced GEML 315s).
 

Gwenllian2001

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the Valley Lines Day Explorer also covers the Vale of Glamorgan line and the Maesteg and Ebbw Vale branches. personally I think that there is less of a priority for the latter three lines, as they have only 1 train an hour compared with 2-4tph on the main sections..
But that is due to change to 2tph in a year or so. In the case of the Vale of Glamorgan possibly more if the proposed spur to the Airport is built. As for Ebbw vale, much will depend on actually 'finishing the job' i.e. running into Newport as well as Cardiff.

I cannot see the logic of the wires stopping at Cardiff because that will entail expensive and complicated dual traction traction trains trains which will be lugging around heavy unused equipment for most of the time. In any case, the traffic is heavy enough west of Cardiff to justify electrification especially when you take the heavy steel works traffic into account.

The Vale of Glamorgan line is frequently used for diverted traffic and has been for many years and there would be little point in leaving it out of the scheme if the wires extend beyond Cardiff.

Having a few dmus to cover the non electrified bits can only mean trouble because it takes away the ability of quickly substituting another set to cover for failures or other incidents.

If we are going to have sparks, then let's do it once and for all. Otherwise I predict years of more campaigning and wrangling over what should and should not be done. The two Governments involved are of completely different political colours. Let us hope that they can work together for the good of the area and avoid the yah boo attitude so prevalent at Westminster.

Electrification around Cardiff is long overdue. Just think how long ago it was that Glasgow's Blue Trains were launched; years before the wires reached Scotland from England.
 

WelshBluebird

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In terms of the possibility of it being done half baked so to speak, if they do leave anything out, I hope they make sure they don't leave out the city line. It would stupid to do so, because of how often it is used as a diversionary route (and a couple of services a day are timetabled to go via the city line instead of the normal queen street through to radyr route).
 
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