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South Wales 'Metro' updates

AdamWW

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I don’t recall the upper valleys ever had no Sunday services (at least since the 1970s) but it is certainly a country mile from the handful of services that used to run.

Maybe it was just the Rhymney line then.

I am almost certain Caerphilly had no Sunday service in the early 2000's.

I'm pretty sure Penarth had a Sunday service but I though there wasn't anything North of Central.
(Edit: or maybe it was Barry)
 
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RJ

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I started operating in Wales in January last year and the only part of the South Wales Metro I’ve not seen a planned all day closure is the Maesteg branch.

That changes on the 24th March though, there's a through rail replacement service from Cardiff. Anyone know what's happening on the branch work wise that day?
 

Western 52

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Maybe it was just the Rhymney line then.

I am almost certain Caerphilly had no Sunday service in the early 2000's.

I'm pretty sure Penarth had a Sunday service but I though there wasn't anything North of Central.
(Edit: or maybe it was Barry)
Rhymney certainly had a Sunday afternoon service in the 1970s plus 1 morning train from Cardiff often with the DMU towing a GUV van.
 

5021

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Rhymney certainly had a Sunday afternoon service in the 1970s plus 1 morning train from Cardiff often with the DMU towing a GUV van.
In the late 70s as I recall (through having used them) Rhymney, Treherbert, Merthyr, Penarth and Barry Island all had Sunday services, though limited by present standards, but Coryton and what was then Bute Road (now the Bay) had none. In fact, by long standing tradition going back to the original GWR, weekend services on the Bute Road line ended at Saturday lunchtime, presumably reflecting working hours in the docks.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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I started operating in Wales in January last year and the only part of the South Wales Metro I’ve not seen a planned all day closure is the Maesteg branch.
It's not part of the Metro.
And thank goodness, because "Metro" with an hourly frequency would just be laughable.
(Although some might call it two-hourly, as every other train seems to get turned at Tondu...)
 

AdamWW

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In the late 70s as I recall (through having used them) Rhymney, Treherbert, Merthyr, Penarth and Barry Island all had Sunday services, though limited by present standards, but Coryton and what was then Bute Road (now the Bay) had none. In fact, by long standing tradition going back to the original GWR, weekend services on the Bute Road line ended at Saturday lunchtime, presumably reflecting working hours in the docks.

They no longer seem to be (incorrectly) claiming that Coryton has never had a Sunday service anyway.
 

Krokodil

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I don’t recall the upper valleys ever had no Sunday services (at least since the 1970s) but it is certainly a country mile from the handful of services that used to run.
Queen Street used to be closed on winter Sundays. It wasn't worth opening the station on a day when all of the shops and places of employment were shut. I'm not sure when this changed but it was certainly the case in the early 1980s. Almost all of the Sunday traffic in those days was passengers connecting with Intercity services at Central. When Caerphilly Tunnel closed on some winter Sundays for maintenance they used to send the replacement buses to Newport to provide a better connection.



Currently the first train ex-Treherbert on Sundays is at 08:10. Would anyone like to guess what time the first Sunday departure was in the early '80s?

It's not part of the Metro.
And thank goodness, because "Metro" with an hourly frequency would just be laughable.
(Although some might call it two-hourly, as every other train seems to get turned at Tondu...)
Isn't it supposed to change to half-hourly? Half-hourly is the minimum frequency you'll see on an S-Bahn.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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Queen Street used to be closed on winter Sundays. It wasn't worth opening the station on a day when all of the shops and places of employment were shut. I'm not sure when this changed but it was certainly the case in the early 1980s. Almost all of the Sunday traffic in those days was passengers connecting with Intercity services at Central. When Caerphilly Tunnel closed on some winter Sundays for maintenance they used to send the replacement buses to Newport to provide a better connection.

Currently the first train ex-Treherbert on Sundays is at 08:10. Would anyone like to guess what time the first Sunday departure was in the early '80s?

Isn't it supposed to change to half-hourly? Half-hourly is the minimum frequency you'll see on an S-Bahn.
I wasn't aware it could take half-hourly; that's good news if so.
 

Envoy

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It is very disappointing to see that still from the late June change, the Vale of Glamorgan Coast Line is remaining at only one train per hour and every other hour on weekends. Being as the Welsh Government own Cardiff Airport (reached via the shuttle bus from Rhoose station), I would have thought that every effort would have been made to boost this service as soon as possible. In addition, the line serves the rapidly growing population in Llantwit Major and provides a short cut between Barry and Bridgend for points west.

With the Class 756 FLIRT trains coming into operation, I would have thought that with those and the older Sprinters, that they would have had enough stock to now run this service half hourly -even though they still don’t have the Class 398’s yet in operation on the central valleys.
 

Snow1964

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TfW news item

The Treherbert line will reopen for passengers on Monday 26 February following nine months of transformational works to upgrade part of the South Wales Metro.

Initially, the service will return to two trains per hour, with brand-new Class 756 trains being introduced later this year, as part of the South Wales Metro works.

As a thanks to passengers for their patience, customers in the Rhondda will be able to travel at half price until the end of May 2024.

Transport for Wales (TfW) and partners have removed some of the oldest railway infrastructure in Wales, and replaced it with a modern, brand-new signalling system including the installation of Overhead Line Equipment that will electrify the line in the coming months.

As well as more frequent services, a number of upgrades have been made to the station, including extending platforms and adding new footbridges for easier accessibility.

Jan Chaudhry van der Velde, TfW Chief Operating Officer said: “Replacing the Victorian signalling system with modern colour light signals controlled from our dedicated Valleys control centre has taken some time, but trains will return to the Treherbert line from 26 February.

“A comprehensive training programme for the drivers and conductors who work the route has been ongoing since the start of the year, and will continue for the next few weeks. We will then turn our attention to the introduction of new Class 756 trains on the route later in 2024.

“We appreciate that our customers and lineside neighbours have been incredibly patient with us during this time, and to recognise this, we are offering customers of the Rhondda, 50% off journeys for three months, until 23 May 2024.”

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said:

“This is another massive investment that will make a huge difference to passengers travelling on the line. It follows in the footsteps of improved services on the Ebbw Vale line and brand-new trains on the Maesteg line and is another positive step in our ambition to transform the valleys lines.”

 

AdamWW

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If I can find the map showing the plans I'll post it. I think that Tondu was to be the site of the new passing loop.

Yes I believe there are indeed plans to permit a more frequent service, but it's not possible at present.

If I remember correctly there's already a loop north of the station, but presumably not one that can be used as-is for passenger services.
 

Dai Corner

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Yes I believe there are indeed plans to permit a more frequent service, but it's not possible at present.

If I remember correctly there's already a loop north of the station, but presumably not one that can be used as-is for passenger services.
It's over half an hour from Tondu to Maesteg and back so any loop would be need to be nearer the end of the branch or line speeds significantly increased to run a half hourly service I believe.
 

louis97

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It's over half an hour from Tondu to Maesteg and back so any loop would be need to be nearer the end of the branch or line speeds significantly increased to run a half hourly service I believe.
The loop being north of the station at Tondu already cuts the section just enough to make it work (along with the 5mph section being south of the loop), the line is due to be re-signalled at some point (already postponed at least once) and this will bring the loop into passenger use.
 

MikePJ

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It is very disappointing to see that still from the late June change, the Vale of Glamorgan Coast Line is remaining at only one train per hour and every other hour on weekends. Being as the Welsh Government own Cardiff Airport (reached via the shuttle bus from Rhoose station), I would have thought that every effort would have been made to boost this service as soon as possible. In addition, the line serves the rapidly growing population in Llantwit Major and provides a short cut between Barry and Bridgend for points west.

With the Class 756 FLIRT trains coming into operation, I would have thought that with those and the older Sprinters, that they would have had enough stock to now run this service half hourly -even though they still don’t have the Class 398’s yet in operation on the central valleys.
Whilst I agree that it is disappointing, the premise of the June timetable change was explicitly that "it can be run with no new stock", because at the time the timetable planners were starting to think about it (autumn last year, possibly even earlier), there was still a significant risk of new stock not being delivered or available for operation. Even now, three months out from the planned change, the 756s have yet to enter revenue service and the 398s are further behind.
 
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TfW news item



So no trains between Pontypridd and Treherbert Sun-Thu late evening, the last train from Cardiff to go direct will be 19:05. A bit disappointing that there will still be bustitutions after such a long closure, and there's no end date mentioned for this either.
 

Krokodil

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Whilst I agree that it is disappointing, the premise of the June timetable change was explicitly that "it can be run with no new stock", because at the time the timetable planners were starting to think about it (autumn last year, possibly even earlier), there was still a significant risk of new stock not being delivered or available for operation. Even now, three months out from the planned change, the 756s have yet to enter revenue service and the 398s are further behind.
How long will it take to get the 756s into service? Presumably the involved crews already sign 231s which will simplify the conversion.
 

MikePJ

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How long will it take to get the 756s into service? Presumably the involved crews already sign 231s which will simplify the conversion.
We don’t know. They were only authorised for use on the Core Valley Lines at the end of January, so I wouldn’t expect them soon. Also, a while back on the 231/756 thread I asked whether there was a significant amount of extra training associated with driving an overhead-powered electric train (which the 756 definitely counts as), and the consensus from experienced forum members was that yes, there was some additional training required and TfW drivers did not previously receive it.
 

Envoy

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Whilst I agree that it is disappointing, the premise of the June timetable change was explicitly that "it can be run with no new stock", because at the time the timetable planners were starting to think about it (autumn last year, possibly even earlier), there was still a significant risk of new stock not being delivered or available for operation. Even now, three months out from the planned change, the 756s have yet to enter revenue service and the 398s are further behind.
A load of 756’s have been sitting in sidings in Barry since last summer - with the occasional test run. They could now be making use of the electrified lines in the central valleys if TfW had got on and up-trained the staff already used to the 231’s.

I can’t help but think that TfW are dragging their feet on this.
 

The exile

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Currently the first train ex-Treherbert on Sundays is at 08:10. Would anyone like to guess what time the first Sunday departure was in the early '80s?


Isn't it supposed to change to half-hourly? Half-hourly is the minimum frequency you’ll see on on S-Bahn
Going to hazard a guess at the first train from Treherbert on Sundays being at about 3pm.

As to S-Bahn frequencies - that would certainly have been true prior to the dilution of the S-Bahn brand, but is no longer the case.
 

bradleyd

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Now advised by a senior TfW staff member that the public reopening is planned for next Monday, 26th, but the official opening - i.e. a ceremony or event to be attended by press, VIPs etc. - is to be on the 29th.
Have just had a look on the TFW app, and it's showing direct trains between treherbert and central on Monday, so seems like that is correct
 

Krokodil

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Going to hazard a guess at the first train from Treherbert on Sundays being at about 3pm.
If you'd said 3am you would have been closer. I've got the exact time at home, it was something like 04:23. I think the frequency was something like three-hourly. Needless to say it was only really used by staff and there was uproar from the unions when BR cut Sunday morning services on the basis that no passengers used them. So the unions refused to work Sunday afternoons - services which were loss-making so BR didn't mind saving the wages. Eventually the unions brought out the Intercity staff too and senior management relented. I suspect that Sunday morning services remained extremely quiet until the relaxation of Sunday trading laws.
 

Envoy

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The new transport interchange at Barry Dock station is not exactly off to a roaring start.

"Commencing on 8th January, Vale of Glamorgan Council introduced a new timetable on local town route B3 so it began serving the newly built four bus stop Transport Interchange alongside the railway station".

The money would have been better spent making the rammed car park at Cogan bigger by utilising all the derelict land. If people can’t park at such a station, they won’t bother using the trains and will continue journeys by car. They also should have built a walkway connecting Cogan station with the Pont-Y-Werin footbridge to the ice rink/swimming pool/white water/residences.
 
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WesternBiker

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The new transport interchange at Barry Dock station is not exactly off to a roaring start.
The B3. That brings back memories, lol. I used to catch it when visiting my mother in the garden suburb. The first time I caught it, I recall the driver saying with astonishment, "a payer!" (as opposed to those on bus passes). It has never been heavily used and I suspect the new timetable won't help. As the piece says, such changes need good advertising.

That all said, I hope in time they manage to make the interchange a success.
 

anthony263

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The B3. That brings back memories, lol. I used to catch it when visiting my mother in the garden suburb. The first time I caught it, I recall the driver saying with astonishment, "a payer!" (as opposed to those on bus passes). It has never been heavily used and I suspect the new timetable won't help. As the piece says, such changes need good advertising.

That all said, I hope in time they manage to make the interchange a success.
The 88 service withdrawn last year because of funding cuts is being resurected from 1st April and will serve the interchange as will Cardiff bus services B1/B2 from the same date
 

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