South Wales 'Metro' updates

Cardiff123

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WOW, so more like a Tyne and Wear set up with its own signal box, totally seperate from Network Rail, with Signallers employed by TfW? And the track will still be linked up to Network Rail metals? Thanks for the reply.
Yep, that's right. The change of ownership boundary between TfW and NR is just north of the bridge between Cardiff Central and Queen St that takes the Valley lines over the mainline below, and just south of Ninian Park station to the West.
 
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WestRiding

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Yep, that's right. The change of ownership boundary between TfW and NR is just north of the bridge between Cardiff Central and Queen St that takes the Valley lines over the mainline below, and just south of Ninian Park station to the West.
Amd is there any freight or traffic other than TfW? I think thats my last question, thanks.
 

Cardiff123

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Amd is there any freight or traffic other than TfW? I think thats my last question, thanks.
The Core Valley Lines are (initially at least) being developed and maintained to NR heavy rail standards. The electrification will be 25kV OHLE for example. The Stadler class 398s that will run on the lines via Pontypridd have been described more as 'train-trams' by TfW than 'tram-trains'.
 

Brissle Girl

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Amd is there any freight or traffic other than TfW? I think thats my last question, thanks.
The last freight on the CVL is from the opencast site at Cwm Bargoed, which branches off the Rhymney line. However, IIRC, an planning application to extend the workings of this site was refused a couple of years ago, so if it is still running, it probably won't be for much longer.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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The last freight on the CVL is from the opencast site at Cwm Bargoed, which branches off the Rhymney line. However, IIRC, an planning application to extend the workings of this site was refused a couple of years ago, so if it is still running, it probably won't be for much longer.
Hard to see where any future freight traffic might come. The network was built for coal and coal is dead.
 

Cardiff123

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Has anything been confirmed as to the present day Coryton - Heath Junction and Queen Street - Cardiff Bay being linked up and converted to trams, or am I getting muddled up with the various proposals/suggestions elsewhere?
There are proposals by Cardiff Council to turn the Coryton line into more of a tram-train style operation, by extending it to link up with Radyr station, or terminating near to Radyr station the other side of the Taff river, to form a 'circle line'. But these are just proposals. The current plan is for the Coryton line to be heavy rail electrified with Stadler Flirts running Penarth - Coryton by 2023/24. The Cardiff Bay line will be converted to tram-train operation with 6tph Stadler class 398s coming down from the Taff Valleys (the lines through Pontypridd) and terminating at the Bay, and the other 6tph terminating at Cardiff Central.
There's an article with more details in the August edition of Modern Railways.
 
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Dr Day

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6tph terminating at Cardiff Central
ie no change in frequency of direct services between Central and the Taff Valleys compared with today.

But additional trains to Queen Street and ability to go directly to Cardiff Bay rather than having to change onto the shuttle. Will be interesting to see just how 'turn up and go' it becomes (certainly north of Pontypridd) or whether people will plan around a timetable to catch the direct service to their destination rather than change.
 

TravelDream

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But additional trains to Queen Street and ability to go directly to Cardiff Bay rather than having to change onto the shuttle. Will be interesting to see just how 'turn up and go' it becomes (certainly north of Pontypridd) or whether people will plan around a timetable to catch the direct service to their destination rather than change.

Four trains per hours on each of the branches at the top of the Valleys will be pretty transformative in my view. Every 15 minutes isn't quite walk-up service, but isn't far off and will be superior to most bus services.
Personal experience from commuting on one of the routes in a previous life shows more people get on at Queen Street no matter what the time of day. Far more shoppers and, on balance, more workers too so the same half-hourly service to Central probably won't be a massive issue and easy transfers will remain at Queen Street.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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ie no change in frequency of direct services between Central and the Taff Valleys compared with today.

But additional trains to Queen Street and ability to go directly to Cardiff Bay rather than having to change onto the shuttle. Will be interesting to see just how 'turn up and go' it becomes (certainly north of Pontypridd) or whether people will plan around a timetable to catch the direct service to their destination rather than change.
I suspect people who want to travel to Cardiff Bay may select services that go there. If you are heading to the city centre whether you end up in Queen Street or Central doesn't make much of a difference. I've never timed it but they're only a shortish walk apart.
 

tomuk

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Four trains per hours on each of the branches at the top of the Valleys will be pretty transformative in my view
Just as was planned/installed by NR under CAGR. But Welsh Government had to have its own train set to play with.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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Just as was planned/installed by NR under CAGR. But Welsh Government had to have its own train set to play with.
Yeah, because Network Rail are so good on delivery of projects in Wales. Not.

Welsh railway services are a disgrace and we can thank BR, Railtrack, NR and Daft for decades of under-investment and neglect. Frankly I wouldn't trust any London-based organisation to run a whelk stall in Wales. The Welsh Government might at least care about the service and actually deliver some improvements.

As people in the north and south west of England know all too well, the record of the Westminster government is to promise the earth and then forget anything outside their own magic bubble while lavishing money on the trains their own civil servants use.
 
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adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
Yeah, because Network Rail are so good on delivery of projects in Wales. Not.

Welsh railway services are a disgrace and we can thank BR, Railtrack, NR and Daft for decades of under-investment and neglect. Frankly I wouldn't trust any London-based organisation to run a whelk stall in Wales. The Welsh Government might at least care about the service and actually deliver some improvements.

As people in the north and south west of England know all too well, the record of the Westminster government is to promise and forget anything outside their magic bubble while lavishing money on the trains their own civil servants use.

Did the Sennedd/Welsh Gov call for work to be stopped on the redoubling of part of the Ebbw Vale line around 2015?
 

Cardiff123

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Just as was planned/installed by NR under CAGR. But Welsh Government had to have its own train set to play with.
Wrong. 'CASR' ('Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal' project) allowed for up to 16tph through Queen St, but with heavy rail DMUs and the persistent bottleneck of the 2 track Newport Rd bridge north of Queen St, it was unlikely that would ever have been achieved.
The current TfW plans are for 20tph to run to and from the Valleys, which is 18tph through Queen St and 2 tph going via the City line.

Did the Sennedd/Welsh Gov call for work to be stopped on the redoubling of part of the Ebbw Vale line around 2015?
Welsh Govt put a halt to the re-doubling work on the Ebbw Vale line because within months NR had blown the agreed budget. Bare in mind this coincided with the ballooning costs on GWML electrification at the time, Welsh Govt were right to be sceptical of NR's ability to manage and deliver a project to within an agreed budget.
Remember that Welsh Govt get no Barnett consequential funding from Westminster for rail infrastructure in Wales, as Scotland and Northern Ireland do. If Welsh Govt want a rail infrastructure enhancement project delivered that Westminster refuses to fund (as was the case with the initial Ebbw Vale line re-opening and the subsequent re-doubling scheme) the funding has to come out of Welsh Govt's budget from other devolved areas, such as health or education. WG cannot therefore justify taking money from the Welsh NHS or schools budget to throw at NR to get a scheme completed if NR cannot control costs.
 
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Dai Corner

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Wrong. 'CASR' ('Cardiff Area Signalling Renewal' project) allowed for up to 16tph through Queen St, but with heavy rail DMUs and the persistent bottleneck of the 2 track Newport Rd bridge north of Queen St, it was unlikely that would ever have been achieved.
The current TfW plans are for 20tph to run to and from the Valleys, which is 18tph through Queen St and 2 tph going via the City line.


Welsh Govt put a halt to the re-doubling work on the Ebbw Vale line because within months NR had blown the agreed budget. Bare in mind this coincided with the ballooning costs on GWML electrification at the time, Welsh Govt were right to be sceptical of NR's ability to manage and deliver a project to within an agreed budget.
Remember that Welsh Govt get no Barnett consequential funding from Westminster for rail infrastructure in Wales, as Scotland and Northern Ireland do. If Welsh Govt want a rail infrastructure enhancement project delivered that Westminster refuses to fund (as was the case with the initial Ebbw Vale line re-opening and the subsequent re-doubling scheme) the funding has to come out of Welsh Govt's budget from other devolved areas, such as health or education. WG cannot therefore justify taking money from the Welsh NHS or schools budget to throw at NR to get a scheme completed if NR cannot control costs.
Was there an 'agreed budget' for the redoubling or was it subject to not encountering unexpected problems? As I understand it it was the latter and the WG couldn't come up with the additional funding.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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Did the Sennedd/Welsh Gov call for work to be stopped on the redoubling of part of the Ebbw Vale line around 2015?
Yes. For the simple reason that Network Rail had mismanaged the project. The Welsh Government had provided the money, even though rail spending was not devolved at the time, only to find that Westminster's idiots hadn't a clue how to do anything on time and on budget.

We shall see, but if the Welsh Government delivers the Metro on time and on budget it will show what a busted flush Network Rail is.
 

Dai Corner

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Yes. For the simple reason that Network Rail had mismanaged the project. The Welsh Government had provided the money, even though rail spending was not devolved at the time, only to find that Westminster's idiots hadn't a clue how to do anything on time and on budget.

We shall see, but if the Welsh Government delivers the Metro on time and on budget it will show what a busted flush Network Rail is.
In reality, isn't it the same contractors who will be doing the work but sending the invoices to TfW in Pontypridd instead of NR in Milton Keynes?

For an example of WG's ability to deliver large projects on time and within budget see the Heads of the Valleys Road dualling (Not!).
 

Dr Day

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18tph through Queen St
How is this going to be achieved, given it will still basically be a heavy rail railway able to cater for freight trains? Further upgrades to the CASR signalling? Newport Road 4-track? Better accelerating rolling stock than NR had envisaged?

Is any work needed at Cardiff West at the other end for the extras needed to ensure both ends of the City line get their 4 tph too (including some extending north of Radyr)
 

Brissle Girl

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Just as was planned/installed by NR under CAGR. But Welsh Government had to have its own train set to play with.
Really? So perhaps you can explain how 4TPH is currently possible on the single line sections at the top ends of the valleys with current rolling stock and timings.
 

Cardiff123

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How is this going to be achieved, given it will still basically be a heavy rail railway able to cater for freight trains? Further upgrades to the CASR signalling? Newport Road 4-track? Better accelerating rolling stock than NR had envisaged?

Is any work needed at Cardiff West at the other end for the extras needed to ensure both ends of the City line get their 4 tph too (including some extending north of Radyr)
Aside from the Rhymney line, there will be tram-trains running on HR infrastructure. So yes, much better accelerating trains than the heavy rail DMUs envisaged by NR when CASR was implemented.
There will also be extensive junction improvements and remodelling of infrastructure immediately south of Queen St station.

The City line is staying at 2tph.

Yes. For the simple reason that Network Rail had mismanaged the project. The Welsh Government had provided the money, even though rail spending was not devolved at the time, only to find that Westminster's idiots hadn't a clue how to do anything on time and on budget.

We shall see, but if the Welsh Government delivers the Metro on time and on budget it will show what a busted flush Network Rail is.
Rail infrastructure spending is still not devolved. Which is why Scotland & NI are getting billions of ££££££ in Barnett consequentials to spend on their rail infrastructure as a result of HS2, whilst Wales gets nothing, and has to raid other devolved budgets such as health & education to find cash for rail projects that Welsh Govt identifies but Westminster couldn't give a stuff about (e.g. the Ebbw Vale line).
 
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Brissle Girl

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There are loops at near the top of the 3 valleys
The loops are there to enable a half hourly service. (Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me a sample timetable that offers a 4TPH service with the existing infrastructure.)
 

krus_aragon

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How is this going to be achieved, given it will still basically be a heavy rail railway able to cater for freight trains? Further upgrades to the CASR signalling? Newport Road 4-track? Better accelerating rolling stock than NR had envisaged?
I'm working off memory here, but I recall that NR decided years back widening Newport Rd Bridge wasn't needed, as they reckoned they could increase the frequency to 18(?)tph without the expense of a new four-track bridge.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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I'm working off memory here, but I recall that NR decided years back widening Newport Rd Bridge wasn't needed, as they reckoned they could increase the frequency to 18(?)tph without the expense of a new four-track bridge.
I think that's right when it comes to the bridge but that doesn't mean the four lines themselves were capable of 4tph.

Obviously, NR were right about the bridge since TfW believe they can operate the service across it having made the needed improvements further north.
 

Doveymain158

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The loops are there to enable a half hourly service. (Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me a sample timetable that offers a 4TPH service with the existing infrastructure.)
The Treherbert branch is unworkable more than 2tph due to single line tokens. The Aberdare branch has an extra loop but i dont think even then it would work. with even 3tph. To make a reliable service Treherbert, Aberdare & Merthyr need an extra platform to make it work.
 

Brissle Girl

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The Treherbert branch is unworkable more than 2tph due to single line tokens. The Aberdare branch has an extra loop but i dont think even then it would work. with even 3tph. To make a reliable service Treherbert, Aberdare & Merthyr need an extra platform to make it work.
Exactly, and the work also involves significant elements of redoubling in all three valleys. Hence why it was absurd of Tomuk to imply that the recent infrastructure work by NR enabled a 4tph service.
 

tomuk

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Exactly, and the work also involves significant elements of redoubling in all three valleys. Hence why it was absurd of Tomuk to imply that the recent infrastructure work by NR enabled a 4tph service.
CASR was a multi stage project the work they did do enabled the 4tph service at the Cardiff end. The later stages would have made the changes further up the valleys. This has of course been superseded by the Core Valleys Line scheme.
 

anthony263

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The loops are there to enable a half hourly service. (Feel free to prove me wrong by showing me a sample timetable that offers a 4TPH service with the existing infrastructure.)
Theres new infrastructure going in including the extensof loops and sections being redoubled
 

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