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South Wales 'Metro' updates

S-Bahn

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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.

There is actually a second bay platform at Cardiff Queen Street, which is not in use at the southern end of platform 5. There is also a lot of free land for adding extra tracks south of Cardiff Queen Street if required.

Having looked at the diagram in the white paper and Google Maps, it appears the idea is to run tracks under the A4232 and onto street level on or alongside Roath Dock Road and then run on street along Pierhead St and either around the back of the Millenium Centre (or past the Senydd and then in front of the MC) and up towards the exiting Cardiff Bay Station.

Given that there is unlikely to ever be a spur on the city line towards Creigau (housing in the way), it would make more sense to have a Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Parkway service, which would be cheaper and easier to achieve.

They can worry about Callaghan Square in the future, if there is the demand.

After all, everyone heading to Cardiff Bay from Pontypridd, etc is going to take a direct train shortly and anyone coming in from Barry, Penarth, Caerphilly, etc, would change at Queen Street, so anyone heading to the bay from along the South Wales mainline can simply go via Queen Street.
 
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Envoy

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There is actually a second bay platform at Cardiff Queen Street, which is not in use at the southern end of platform 5. There is also a lot of free land for adding extra tracks south of Cardiff Queen Street if required.

Having looked at the diagram in the white paper and Google Maps, it appears the idea is to run tracks under the A4232 and onto street level on or alongside Roath Dock Road and then run on street along Pierhead St and either around the back of the Millenium Centre (or past the Senydd and then in front of the MC) and up towards the exiting Cardiff Bay Station.

Given that there is unlikely to ever be a spur on the city line towards Creigau (housing in the way), it would make more sense to have a Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Parkway service, which would be cheaper and easier to achieve.

They can worry about Callaghan Square in the future, if there is the demand.

After all, everyone heading to Cardiff Bay from Pontypridd, etc is going to take a direct train shortly and anyone coming in from Barry, Penarth, Caerphilly, etc, would change at Queen Street, so anyone heading to the bay from along the South Wales mainline can simply go via Queen Street.
it is a lot of hassle for passengers arriving off mainline services at Central to then go to P6 and take a train to Queen Street and then transfer to another train to the Bay. In fact, it would be easier to just exit Central south side and catch a bus. (The Cardiff Bus 6 now goes direct to Bay from behind the library and under Bute Street bridge rather than the previous route with a stop near the Central station south side). Therefore, there is a desire to have a direct link from Central to the Bay and this could eventually be a through service from the western suburbs via The City Line.

The small number of houses that were built on the bed of a former railway just NW of Fairwater station would be demolished. A new Metro would be for the greater good of the transport system in order to serve all the new developments such as Plasdwr and that south of Cregiau / Llanilltern. The road system just cannot cope with the increasing population - not helped by the ridiculous decision not to have a road link between the A4119 (Llantrisant Road) and a much improved (flyovers rather than roundabout with lights) M4 J33. Radyr, Fairwater, Llandaff and St. Fagans are already seeing vast increases in traffic resulting from the new developments.
 

MikePJ

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More Cardiff Bay progress: concrete edge walls for the widened platform have appeared at the Bay end.
 

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Joined
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More Cardiff Bay progress: concrete edge walls for the widened platform have appeared at the Bay end.
I appreciate that there has been sewer work ongoing but this does seem to be progressing rather slowly, has the programme been slowed down due to the lack of 398 availability?
 

MikePJ

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I appreciate that there has been sewer work ongoing but this does seem to be progressing rather slowly, has the programme been slowed down due to the lack of 398 availability?
I cycle past the site every day on my way to work. There have been contractors on site at Cardiff Bay or Butetown (or both) every day, so it's not like work's being paused. I didn't photograph Butetown this morning but the approach ramps and stairs continue to be worked on. Civils can take a really long time! I don't quite understand why they laid track for the new platform at Cardiff Bay only to cover it up with building materials though - my best guess is that the track was laid and positioned to act as a reference for the new platform edge to try and get the best possible alignment between track and platform edge for level boarding.
 
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The Cardiff bay branch really cuts the area in half by running inbetween Bute St and Lloyd George Avenue. Given the proposal is for tram trains, why was the opportunity not taken to lower the branch to street level, (until it has to head upwards of course) thus vastly improving the surrounding area and public realm?
 

Brissle Girl

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The Cardiff bay branch really cuts the area in half by running inbetween Bute St and Lloyd George Avenue. Given the proposal is for tram trains, why was the opportunity not taken to lower the branch to street level, (until it has to head upwards of course) thus vastly improving the surrounding area and public realm?
At a guess, cost. Remember the overall project is already costing a huge amount, even before the over-run. Given the benefit you describe would not be transport related, it would be reasonable for the funding to come from another source.
 

Krokodil

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The Cardiff bay branch really cuts the area in half by running inbetween Bute St and Lloyd George Avenue. Given the proposal is for tram trains, why was the opportunity not taken to lower the branch to street level, (until it has to head upwards of course) thus vastly improving the surrounding area and public realm?
How much are you planning on spending and can you apply a figure to what you expect to gain?

You're not the first to have that idea, mind. The Cardiff Bay Development Corporation wanted to close the line entirely for similar reasons.
 

Tomos y Tanc

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Given that there is unlikely to ever be a spur on the city line towards Creigau (housing in the way), it would make more sense to have a Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Parkway service, which would be cheaper and easier to achieve.
I'm not sure why you're so cynical about the Creigiau line. The corridor through Faiwater and the new Plasdwr suburb is preserved and accesing the Cityline would involve demolishing around 3-4 existing properties at most.

I think you must be assuming that the line would diverge at Waungron as it did historically. The Metro plan involves a new junction close to Fairwater station accessing the old trackbed at Kirton Close. The properties that would need to go lie between Kirton Close and Fairwood Close.
 
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Dr Day

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The properties that would need to go lie between Kirton Close and Fairwood Close.
I'm assuming these are the properties @S-Bahn is referring to, so the question is - are they a show-stoppers that prevent any rail line towards Creigau ever happening at all, or just make that section a particularly expensive one in any route option selection process that would inevitably need to be carried out. Particularly with the street-running capability of tram-trains there will be alternative route options - like any proposed re-opening it isn't necessarily the best option to slavishly follow the original formation all the way.
 

Llanigraham

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I'm not sure why you're so cynical about the Creigiau line. The corridor through Faiwater and the new Plasdwr suburb is preserved and accesing the Cityline would involve demolishing around 3-4 existing properties at most.

I think you must be assuming that the line would diverge at Waungron as it did historically. The Metro plan involves a new junction close to Fairwater station accessing the old trackbed at Kirton Close. The properties that would need to go lie between Kirton Close and Fairwood Close.

Sorry but it didn't diverge at Waungron Rd. The only "divergence" there was into a small coal yard on the north west side of the bridge, opposite Waungron Park
The Cregiau line junction was beyond Fairwater Station and just after Pwllmelin Rd bridge. Kineton Cl and Fairwood Cl are built on the line.
(I lived in the area!!)
 

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?

To sort of answer my own question, I think it's down because the South Wales Mainline is closed for planned works. Maybe the chance is being taken to work on the Maesteg branch, maybe not, but I am looking forward to doing the rail replacement service on that line. The route is easily the most hazard laden of any of the routes in South Wales!
 

Last Hurrah

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Travelled up to Rhymney to see how things were progressing

The train I travelled on terminated at Bargoed arriving on southbound Cardiff platform

Having crossed the footbridge for the Rhymney platform, it was noticeable the footbridge, a solid looking structure, was heavily rusted on the underside with significant layers of paint curling up

Whilst no suggestion the bridge is about to collapse, the amount of rust is worthy of inspection, if only to determine whether remedial works are appropriate

How often would a structure get inspected ?
 

MikePJ

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More Cardiff Bay progress: concrete edge walls for the widened platform have appeared at the Bay end.
Another Cardiff Bay update: the platform area has been filled with hardcore between the wing walls. Note the roller packing it down. There’s also one precast base installed, possibly for an overhead line mast.




EDIT: Also, I've just noticed that Noel Dolphin (from Furrer + Frey, manufacturers of overhead line equipment) posted a slide on Twitter with an electrification progress update: https://twitter.com/NoelDolphin/status/1770858227569152421/photo/1 (attached in case it disappears later).

Summarising and decoding the slide:

- CTL (City Line - Ninian Park to Radyr) is complete: 141 foundations; 205 main part steelwork (masts, cantilevers, etc); 358 small part steelwork
- QSS ("Queen Street South" - not a helpful label - this means the line Radyr - Llandaff - Cathays - Queen St) is complete: 127 foundations, 170 main part steelwork, 336 small part steelwork
- R2P (Radyr to Pontypridd) is complete: 361 foundations, 583 main part steelwork, 1130 small part steelwork
- ABD (Aberdare line) is complete: 580 foundations, 829 main part steelwork, 1523 small part steelwork
- MER (Merthyr line) is complete: 361 foundations, 517 main part steelwork, 893 small part steelwork
- THT (Treherbert line) is 90% complete: 578 foundations, 821 main part steelwork, 1616 small part steelwork (presumably these numbers are the total completed so far)

- QSN ("Queen Street North" - i.e. the Coryton Branch and the line between Queen St and Caerphilly) is in progress and has 247 foundations, 308 main part steelwork and 634 small part steelwork. This is supposed to be energised in November 2024.
- BAY (Cardiff Bay branch) will start in April/May 2024 (soon!) with 32 foundations, 44 main part steelwork and 137 small part steelwork, and is also supposed to be energised (one track only) in November 2024, with the second track and crossovers being done by May 2025.
- RHY (Rhymney line north of Caerphilly) has 769 foundations (38% complete), 1008 main part steelwork, 1712 small part steelwork and 53 wire runs. This is due to be energised in September 2025 (most of it), with the new platform at Rhymney and the Tir-Phil loop extension being done by May 2026.

The three-letter codes are from the project plan map (Appendix A) that I posted in #5634.
 

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Envoy

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How can it be that with Queen Street closed for engineering, valley lines trains are diverted via the City Line at high frequency to/from Cardiff Central and continue to/from Barry following reversal at Central?

It has been stated that they can’t improve the frequency on the City Line beyond the present half hourly service without spending something like £20 million near the Canton depot. Surely, today’s diverted services prove this to be incorrect?

Here is the situation at Ninian Park today with trains passing through non stop:> https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/se...24-03-30/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt
 

Brissle Girl

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It's an interesting question, as non-conflicting routes are currently being set up in both directions between Ninian Park and Cardiff Central that don't conflict as shown in the attachment below from Open Train Times.
 

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louis97

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It has been stated that they can’t improve the frequency on the City Line beyond the present half hourly service without spending something like £20 million near the Canton depot. Surely, today’s diverted services prove this to be incorrect?
What gives you that impression? There is less trains today traversing Cardiff West Junction than there is normally, that is the pinch point because of all the crossing movements on the flat.
 

Envoy

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What gives you that impression? There is less trains today traversing Cardiff West Junction than there is normally, that is the pinch point because of all the crossing movements on the flat.
Ah - I see, it is the Penarth trains that have been removed and switched to buses.
 

Signal_Box

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How can it be that with Queen Street closed for engineering, valley lines trains are diverted via the City Line at high frequency to/from Cardiff Central and continue to/from Barry following reversal at Central?

It has been stated that they can’t improve the frequency on the City Line beyond the present half hourly service without spending something like £20 million near the Canton depot. Surely, today’s diverted services prove this to be incorrect?

Here is the situation at Ninian Park today with trains passing through non stop:> https://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/se...24-03-30/0000-2359?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt

Because under normal timetabling there isn’t the capacity on the West Junction, it’s only (barely) working with delays as it is.

It's an interesting question, as non-conflicting routes are currently being set up in both directions between Ninian Park and Cardiff Central that don't conflict as shown in the attachment below from Open Train Times.

The conflict on is the actual west junction access into P6/7/8 not up and down the city lines.
 

Brissle Girl

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Because under normal timetabling there isn’t the capacity on the West Junction, it’s only (barely) working with delays as it is.



The conflict on is the actual west junction access into P6/7/8 not up and down the city lines.
Thanks for the clarification.
 

bradleyd

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Does anyone have any ideas of why all the trains pontypridd to Merthyr seem to be cancelled today (according to the tfw app), but yesterday they were still shown as running?

Does anyone have any ideas of why all the trains pontypridd to Merthyr seem to be cancelled today (according to the tfw app), but yesterday they were still shown as running?
The bizarre thing is that they are now all showing as running again. Traksy was showing them as cancelled also in the timetable vit (but showed the trains running on the diagram), including the 10:58 train I am currently sat on
 
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takno

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The bizarre thing is that they are now all showing as running again. Traksy was showing them as cancelled also in the timetable vit (but showed the trains running on the diagram), including the 10:58 train I am currently sat on
Traksy has a tendency to show a lot of trains as cancelled, even while they're very clearly running along the network. I think it relates to trains which have been cancelled and then overlaid with a replacement schedule or similar, which was a fairly rare event when it was originally coded, but now seems to affect huge swathes of the network on any given weekend. The new version of the software should fix it in the next couple of months, but in the meantime I'd just ignore the cancellation flag on Traksy, particularly when it contradicts the map.
 
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There was a planning application last week to change some details on the Cardiff Bay and Butetown station plans. It's being value engineered to remove the porticos at the station entrances, seems a shame to reduce the visual impact of having new and hugely improved stations on the line.

Link to planning application
 

Krokodil

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Does anyone have any ideas of why all the trains pontypridd to Merthyr seem to be cancelled today (according to the tfw app), but yesterday they were still shown as running?


The bizarre thing is that they are now all showing as running again. Traksy was showing them as cancelled also in the timetable vit (but showed the trains running on the diagram), including the 10:58 train I am currently sat on
Something seems to be up with the systems, I've had a few passengers ask me about bookings for tomorrow (elsewhere in the country) which Trainline is showing all legs as "cancelled" but they're still showing on my machine. I reckon that a load of data was removed and then reuploaded and the apps don't recognise the new ones as being the same trains as the old.
 

positron

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There was a planning application last week to change some details on the Cardiff Bay and Butetown station plans. It's being value engineered to remove the porticos at the station entrances, seems a shame to reduce the visual impact of having new and hugely improved stations on the line.

Link to planning application
Seems a lot of documents if it is just the porticos being removed? Anything else of note that anyone can find?
 
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Seems a lot of documents if it is just the porticos being removed? Anything else of note that anyone can find?
I think that the documents are just attached as part of the original planning application and assume there will be some minor changes to drawings.

There will be some extra platform and street furniture added as well apparently.
 

bradleyd

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Traksy has a tendency to show a lot of trains as cancelled, even while they're very clearly running along the network. I think it relates to trains which have been cancelled and then overlaid with a replacement schedule or similar, which was a fairly rare event when it was originally coded, but now seems to affect huge swathes of the network on any given weekend. The new version of the software should fix it in the next couple of months, but in the meantime I'd just ignore the cancellation flag on Traksy, particularly when it contradicts the map.
Something seems to be up with the systems, I've had a few passengers ask me about bookings for tomorrow (elsewhere in the country) which Trainline is showing all legs as "cancelled" but they're still showing on my machine. I reckon that a load of data was removed and then reuploaded and the apps don't recognise the new ones as being the same trains as the old.
Thank you both. I was just quite confused (and didn't know whether to blame it on me not being fully awake because of the clock changes )
 

S-Bahn

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At Treforest station, does anyone know when the old GWR bridge is being removed and transported to the Gwili railway and the new bridge completed?
 

positron

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The 756s have been running on electric up to pontypridd during the day recently. Seems they're getting the testing done to introduce later this year.
 

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