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South Wales 'Metro' updates

Smwrff

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I agree that it looks strange, and without the rest of the drawings and design notes its hard to fathom the intent. However, let’s have a guess: the tram tracks are shown in what appears to be one carriageway of a dual carriageway road (between Central and Callaghan Square). This can’t possibly be the design intent as otherwise trams would be running into oncoming traffic! So my interpretation is that the northern (city side) carriageway is actually a bi-directional bus/tram road, with other traffic having one lane in each direction on the southern (bay side) road. By phasing the lights at Herbert St/Lloyd George Ave junction (and similarly at the junction by Central), you can allow the traffic to split and reintegrate.
The extended road running doesnt make any sense, when it could quickly cross to the south of the road and then run alongside.
 
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Brissle Girl

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I wonder how much of the Phase 1a cost is the associated developments, such as the new public realm (whatever that means) in front of Callaghan Square. So when we think, gosh, that costs a lot, aren’t rail enhancements expensive, we’re forgetting all the add-ons.
 
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It's good to see dates and they aren't too far away, with enabling works starting this autumn and construction in 2025.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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I wonder how much of the Phase 1a cost is the associated developments, such as the new public realm (whatever that means) in front of Callaghan Square. So when we think, gosh, that costs a lot, aren’t rail enhancements expensive, we’re forgetting all the add-ons.
Callaghan Square has never really worked as a public space and there has been talk of changing it almost since it was completed in the early 2000s. I guess those improvements might have taken place anyway, regardless of the rail plans. This is probably a case of two schemes being rolled in together to take full advantage of the money available.
 

S-Bahn

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If I'm reading the press release correctly, the purpose of this proposed street running from Cardif Central to the bay branch line via Callaghan Square is for a future crossrail tram-train service for Cardiff?
Is there not a simpler solution - upgrade the bay branch line to three tracks, increase the number of tracks etc south of Queen Street and have the tram-trains turnaround in the two bay platforms at Queen Street, therefore keeping the tram-trains off the roads around Callaghan Square?
 
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AdamWW

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If I'm reading the press release correctly, the purpose of this proposed street running from Cardif Central to the bay branch line via Callaghan Square is for a future crossrail tram-train service for Cardiff?
Is there not a simpler solution - upgrade the bay branch line to three tracks, increase the number of tracks etc south of Queen Street and have the tram-trains turnaround in the two bay platforms at Queen Street, therefore keeping the tram-trains off the roads around Callaghan Square?

I'm not sure that adding extra tracks between Queen Street and Central (and presumably bunging an extra platform or so in at Central) would be all that simple and it might be a bit more disruptive than the current plans.

Queen Street only has one bay platform.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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If I'm reading the press release correctly, the purpose of this proposed street running from Cardif Central to the bay branch line via Callaghan Square is for a future crossrail tram-trian service for Cardiff?
Is there not a simpler solution - upgrade the the bay branch line to three tracks, increase the number of tracks etc south of Queen Street and have the tram-trains turnaround in the two bay platforms at Queen Street, therefore keeping the tram-trains off the roads around Callaghan Square?
Not really. All that would do is to essentialy duplicate what exists already. The journey time from the Bay to Central would be roughly the same as it currently is, just without the need to change trains. Added to which, Central is already pretty much at capacity with the provision of extra platforms at high level very difficult if not impossible. Street running with ground level platforms is a quicker and more cost-effective solution.

Whether this should be the priority for rail infrastructure in Cardiff is another matter. Personaly, I think that improving the City/Coryton lines to enable a 4tph service is more important.
 

Envoy

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I really wonder how many buses are going to use the so called Transport Interchange on the NE side of Central station? I heard that National Express were not going to use it and will stay in Sophia Gardens. (It would be impossible to use the new Transport Interchange when fans are in the city centre for events at the stadium).

Perhaps with the tram-trains having a stop in Callaghan Square, the derelict land on the south side could become a new coach station with The Metro able to distribute people across SE Wales allied with the nearby Central station? Coaches would have easy access from J33 of the M4 to the west via the Bay and A4232 expressway. (They are currently stuck in jams on Leckwith Road with kids from Fitzalan not helping by constantly pressing the pedestrian crossing buttons). Of course, the issue of building the Eastern Bay Expressway still needs to be resolved to provide access to M4 for England.

Just to clarify, reference to Cardiff Crossrail means a Metro line going from Newport Road via freight lines in Splott to the Bay and then street running to Cardiff Bay station. The Crossrail route then uses the present Bay line before coming off to cross Callaghan Square to south side of Central. Eventually it is hoped to continue west via the City line to Fairwater and then re-build/create new a route going NW to Cregiau and maybe Beddau. (This would serve all the new housing now going up at Plasdwr as bus routes are jammed in Fairwater & Llandaff as well as inner suburbs).

PS. Byd ar Bedwar (English subtitles) on S4C 8pm Monday 11 March 2024 will be about TfW.
 

Smwrff

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I really wonder how many buses are going to use the so called Transport Interchange on the NE side of Central station? I heard that National Express were not going to use it and will stay in Sophia Gardens. (It would be impossible to use the new Transport Interchange when fans are in the city centre for events at the stadium).

Perhaps with the tram-trains having a stop in Callaghan Square, the derelict land on the south side could become a new coach station with The Metro able to distribute people across SE Wales allied with the nearby Central station? Coaches would have easy access from J33 of the M4 to the west via the Bay and A4232 expressway. (They are currently stuck in jams on Leckwith Road with kids from Fitzalan not helping by constantly pressing the pedestrian crossing buttons). Of course, the issue of building the Eastern Bay Expressway still needs to be resolved to provide access to M4 for England.

Just to clarify, reference to Cardiff Crossrail means a Metro line going from Newport Road via freight lines in Splott to the Bay and then street running to Cardiff Bay station. The Crossrail route then uses the present Bay line before coming off to cross Callaghan Square to south side of Central. Eventually it is hoped to continue west via the City line to Fairwater and then re-build/create new a route going NW to Cregiau and maybe Beddau. (This would serve all the new housing now going up at Plasdwr as bus routes are jammed in Fairwater & Llandaff as well as inner suburbs).

PS. Byd ar Bedwar (English subtitles) on S4C 8pm Monday 11 March 2024 will be about TfW.
There is already a coach station planned south of the station - 3 bays between planned Ledger tower and multi storey car park (under construction).
 

Baxenden Bank

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The text of the article referred to in the previous post, as per forum rules.
Zoe Glascow·8 March 2024

Delays to arrival of new Cardiff train stations due to open this year – with one cancellation​

Five planned new stations face delays – and one may not even arrive at all​

FOUR new train stations planned to open across Cardiff in the next two years have been delayed for a year, some do not have a new opening date set – and one is now unlikely to be built at all.

The planned new stations are Crwys Road, Butetown, Gabalfa, Ely Mill and Cardiff East and each has its own timescale.

Crwys Road and Butetown station were planned to open this year, but work has only just begun in Butetown and work has not begun at Crwys Road.

The new stations would help connect currently under-seved areas of Cardiff and make onward journey easier. The new Butetown station will make access between Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Central faster for locals.

The planned Cardiff East station – to be built near Newport Road – will serve an area starved of rail connection. Those travelling across to England will be able to use this new service to get to Bristol and neighbouring areas without needing to first travel to Cardiff Central.

The stations are part of major rail improvements in the city and South Wales, with the new metro system being created and electrification of many of the surrounding Valley Lines trains.

Crwys Road​

Due: 2024

Expected arrival: 2025


Crwys Road station is being built on the Rhymney Line as part of the Core Valley Lines transformation funded by Welsh Government, delivered by Transport for Wales. It is planned to open in 2025.

The Rhymney Line runs from Cardiff Central through to Rhymney and Caerphilly. The Coryton line is also a branch. Currently, there is no station on the line between Heath High Level and Cardiff Queen Street, which are two miles apart.

“The final design solution is currently being developed. Construction of the station is set to begin once the designs are complete,” said a spokesperson for Transport for Wales.

This station will help to commuters living in the Cathays area heading out of Cardiff up to Caerphilly and vice versa.

“I am really pleased that we are getting a new and up to date transport system for Cardiff,” said Councillor Norma Mackie.

“I think the new railway and metro network will be a real asset in getting people out of cars, which is so much better for our environment, and it will also make it easier and quicker for people to get into Cardiff and move around the city.”

However, not all locals are happy with the plans.

“The proposal lacks any sense of placemaking. The proposals presented are the cheapest available, using a residential street as its access without any regard for how this would impact the residents’ lives,” said Andrew Bermingham, who lives on Alexander Street.

“My family and I really do not wish to live within a station.”

Butetown​

Due: 2024

Expected arrival: 2025


Butetown Station is to be constructed by 2025 as part of the transformation works to the Cardiff Bay Line. The station will sit between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay.

“A new fully accessible two platform station at Butetown is currently under construction, expected to be completed in 2025,” said a spokesperson for Transport for Wales.

Initial groundworks have just begun at the site on Lloyd George Avenue.

Improvements to the Bay Line will be vital for quick transport between the centre and Cardiff Bay for events at the new Cardiff Bay arena.

Cardiff East Station​

Due: 2028

Expected arrival: Delayed


Cardiff East Station will host existing services and new Cardiff-to-Cheltenham and Cardiff-to-Bristol services.

“The next stage is to secure funding from UK Government to further develop the design and full business case for the programme,” said a spokesperson for Transport for Wales.

“We don’t have a confirmed timescale for delivery.”

The area is not served by rail currently and suffers from heavy traffic.

A public consultation has recently been held for these plans, but no date has been set by TfW for its opening.

Gabalfa​

Due: 2028

Expected arrival: 2028


Gabalfa Station will be added to the Valleys line which serves Merthyr, Treherbert and Aberdare, which runs north from Cardiff Central.

“There has been some early development work undertaken to develop conceptual options and development will continue when funding is made available,” said a spokesperson for Transport for Wales.

Gabalfa will sit between Cathays and Llandaff which are three miles apart, providing easier transport for commuters living in the area.

“As a councillor for Gabalfa we are very keen for a station to be delivered as soon as possible to serve our residents, after campaigning for many years for it,” said Councillor Ashley Wood.

“We understand TfW are still aiming for 2028 but a lack of clarity over the funding commitments needed and apparent delays to other new stations on the metro raises concerns this station will not be delivered on time either.”

Ely Mill​

Due: 2024

Expected arrival: Cancelled


The Ely Mill station would be on the City Line that runs from Radyr to Cardiff Central, between Waun-Gron Park and Ninian Park.

Eight hundred new homes have recently been built in the area, meaning demand for good public transport links are even higher.

“Plans for a station at Ely Mill are still in an early development stage. We are working with the UKG (UK Government) via the Wales Rail Board to identify the priorities for rail investment in Wales,” said a Welsh Government spokesperson.

The Welsh Government submitted a bid to the UK Government’s ‘New Stations Fund’ for the construction of Ely Mill, but this bid was rejected as the business case did not meet the requirements to have the station completed by 31 March 2024.

Currently, Ely Mill will not be built because there is no funding for the project.
 

Dr Day

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Is Ely Mill sited on a bit of infrastructure that falls outside the ‘Core Valleys’ hence funding sought from DfT? Presumably if they wanted to and could make the case through their own processes, WG could still fund it (or Cardiff East).
 

MikePJ

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Is Ely Mill sited on a bit of infrastructure that falls outside the ‘Core Valleys’ hence funding sought from DfT? Presumably if they wanted to and could make the case through their own processes, WG could still fund it (or Cardiff East).
The "Core Valley Lines West Boundary" is at 1m20ch, between Ninian Park and Waun-gron Park. OpenRailwayMap puts it at the bridge over Sanatorium Road - if that's correct, Ely Mill definitely falls within the CVL. My understanding was that funding for Ely Mill was based on Section 106 money from a large housing development.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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The "Core Valley Lines West Boundary" is at 1m20ch, between Ninian Park and Waun-gron Park. OpenRailwayMap puts it at the bridge over Sanatorium Road - if that's correct, Ely Mill definitely falls within the CVL. My understanding was that funding for Ely Mill was based on Section 106 money from a large housing development.
I think that's correct. The City Line is currently a mess. I can understand why the Welsh Government wanted to take ownership of the CVL given the historic lack of investment by BR/Railtrack/Network Rail in the valley lines. However, it's left the City Line as something of an orphan.

The Section 106 situation is slightly odd since the housing development at Ely Mill was largely financed by the Welsh Government. So you have a situation where the Welsh Government essentially has a 106 agreement with itself to finance a station on a line partly owned by the UK Government. No wonder it's not being built!
 

MikePJ

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I think that's correct. The City Line is currently a mess. I can understand why the Welsh Government wanted to take ownership of the CVL given the historic lack of investment by BR/Railtrack/Network Rail in the valley lines. However, it's left the City Line as something of an orphan.

The Section 106 situation is slightly odd since the housing development at Ely Mill was largely financed by the Welsh Government. So you have a situation where the Welsh Government essentially has a 106 agreement with itself to finance a station on a line partly owned by the UK Government. No wonder it's not being built!
ah, that may be my misunderstanding then - sorry!
 

mrmartin

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I'm a bit lost with the cardiff east etc situation. i thought these were being funded instead of m4 bypass, but now that article says they are waiting for UKG funding?
 

Brissle Girl

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I'm a bit lost with the cardiff east etc situation. i thought these were being funded instead of m4 bypass, but now that article says they are waiting for UKG funding?
That's a very good point. And given that the UK government were extremely frustrated at the decision to pull the M4 relief road (IIRC at one point Boris even threatened to sponsor its construction anyway), I can't imagine it will be bending over backwards to fund the alternative. (Although, any discussion regarding the government's view on funding etc is now relatively short term, given the next election is so close.)
 

mrmartin

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That's a very good point. And given that the UK government were extremely frustrated at the decision to pull the M4 relief road (IIRC at one point Boris even threatened to sponsor its construction anyway), I can't imagine it will be bending over backwards to fund the alternative. (Although, any discussion regarding the government's view on funding etc is now relatively short term, given the next election is so close.)
I really have no idea what is going on.

1) Millions spent on consultation and design of M4 bypass
2) M4 bypass cancelled, more consultation announced in the form of the 'South East Wales Transport Commission'
3) 'SEWTC' recommends building new stations on the SWML
4) WG accepts those recommendations in principle
5) TfW does a load of design work and consultation on those stations (only closed in Jan)
6) Actually, no funding really available for this, nevermind, maybe we'll pick it up again in the 2030s?!

It's just consultation and layers upon layers of quango madness. I have absolutely no doubt by the 2030s they'll be picking up the M4 bypass again in some form as the congestion is going to be absolutely ludicrous by then, then the whole cycle can start over again. Similar story with Cardiff Parkway as well, stuck in endless loops of planning. Deary me.

I really get the impression that TfW is just doing consultations and design work for stuff they know really that will never be funded, like these stations.

</rantover>
 

Last Hurrah

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The "Core Valley Lines West Boundary" is at 1m20ch, between Ninian Park and Waun-gron Park. OpenRailwayMap puts it at the bridge over Sanatorium Road - if that's correct, Ely Mill definitely falls within the CVL. My understanding was that funding for Ely Mill was based on Section 106 money from a large housing development.

The “Boundary” is a short distance beyond Sanatorium Road bridge in the Ninian Park direction

Out of curiosity, why weren’t Electrification masts installed up to the TfW/NR Boundary, rather than end 200 yards or so short
 

59CosG95

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The “Boundary” is a short distance beyond Sanatorium Road bridge in the Ninian Park direction

Out of curiosity, why weren’t Electrification masts installed up to the TfW/NR Boundary, rather than end 200 yards or so short
Practicality of the Tension Lengths. Wire runs can only be 1500m maximum for a full tension length, and 750m for a half tension length (i.e. where the Tensioners are only at one end, with the other end fixed); any extension would likely have been outwith those parameters.
 

Dr Day

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3) 'SEWTC' recommends building new stations on the SWML
4) WG accepts those recommendations in principle
5) TfW does a load of design work and consultation on those stations (only closed in Jan)
6) Actually, no funding really available for this, nevermind, maybe we'll pick it up again in the 2030s?!
Probably a bit chicken and egg, as the cost of the stations won't be known until some design work is carried out, and some commitment is needed to having new services to call at those new stations (I believe situated on the relief lines), including sufficient capacity through the Severn Tunnel for new services to where people in that neck of the wood want to go, which is generally Bristol.

AFAIK WG have never committed to funding the construction of any new stations outside the Core Valleys Lines.
 

MikePJ

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Probably a bit chicken and egg, as the cost of the stations won't be known until some design work is carried out, and some commitment is needed to having new services to call at those new stations (I believe situated on the relief lines), including sufficient capacity through the Severn Tunnel for new services to where people in that neck of the wood want to go, which is generally Bristol.

AFAIK WG have never committed to funding the construction of any new stations outside the Core Valleys Lines.
Exactly - design studies and consultations help identify problems and issues, and lead to more realistic estimates of costs, which can then be used to prepare better bids for funding to do the construction. It's not necessarily money wasted if a design study results in a programme being paused or abandoned - the study could have found that the project was considerably more expensive than first thought. Welsh Government has also had to pull its horns in on a variety of projects because inflation has eaten into its budget. Whilst they are currently prioritising TfW to ensure that the Metro and fleet renewal projects complete successfully, there's less money around for further projects than was previously thought. There's a further political dimension which is that if the government in London cuts future spending in England (as was talked about in the recent budget) then that impacts on Barnett formula spending in Wales.
 

Brissle Girl

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Isn’t the point though that (to be the best of my knowledge), at no time has the Welsh government made it clear that the scheme would be reliant on government funding.

And indeed moreover that the M4 Relief was more or less guaranteed funding, which now appears to have been lost and any replacement funding is subject to the vagaries of whatever political party is in charge in Westminster.
 

mrmartin

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Isn’t the point though that (to be the best of my knowledge), at no time has the Welsh government made it clear that the scheme would be reliant on government funding.

And indeed moreover that the M4 Relief was more or less guaranteed funding, which now appears to have been lost and any replacement funding is subject to the vagaries of whatever political party is in charge in Westminster.
Exactly. What I really care about is more capacity - whether that be road or rail. Both are desperately needed along the M4. J28-J29 for example is projected to be at 116% of operational capacity by 2035, and the entire section between J23 and J29 is 'red' based on the 2013 proposal: https://www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2018-01/130923m4consen.pdf.

WG has managed to spend a lot of money to get none of that.
 

WesternBiker

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Exactly. What I really care about is more capacity - whether that be road or rail. Both are desperately needed along the M4. J28-J29 for example is projected to be at 116% of operational capacity by 2035, and the entire section between J23 and J29 is 'red' based on the 2013 proposal: https://www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2018-01/130923m4consen.pdf.

WG has managed to spend a lot of money to get none of that.
Absolutely. While I would always like to see investment on the railway, the congestion on the M4 through Newport desperately needs a solution.
 

Dr Day

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What I really care about is more capacity - whether that be road or rail.
Lots of investment is planned in longer (and on some routes, more frequent) trains but even if you had a 10-car train between the Severn Tunnel and Swansea running at 3 minute headways I doubt it would make a dent in the M4 figures, simply because the railway network doesn't link up the places people (and their goods) want to go was well as the highway network can.
 

Envoy

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More on the Central to Bay link:>

"To ensure that the tram can interconnect with walking and cycling routes, there will be new public realm in front of Callaghan Square, a new segregated cycleway to connect Cardiff Central with Callaghan Square linking with the wider strategic network, and changes to the access arrangements for general traffic through Bute Terrace and Lower St Mary Street".
 

Tomos y Tanc

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AFAIK WG have never committed to funding the construction of any new stations outside the Core Valleys Lines.
And nor should they until rail is fully devolved. The UK Government seems to want to have its cake and eat it - refusing to devolve rail and Barnetise projects like HS2 and Network North while expecting the Welsh Government to cough up for improvements to lines they don't own.
 

Last Hurrah

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Practicality of the Tension Lengths. Wire runs can only be 1500m maximum for a full tension length, and 750m for a half tension length (i.e. where the Tensioners are only at one end, with the other end fixed); any extension would likely have been outwith those parameters.

Thank you for that explanation - very informative for the uninitiated

It may explain why masts stop at one or two other locations, if a sub 750m wire run would be needed
 

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