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South Wales 'Metro' updates

Llanigraham

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Cardiff123,
You stated that there was no engineering work being undertaken but haven't provided any evidence there isn't, and have now moved your criticism elsewhere.
You have now been told that crews are on contracts that does not mean they have to work that day.
Sorry, but until there is a way to change those contracts you are going to have to do without these trains.
 
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Cardiff123

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Cardiff123,
You stated that there was no engineering work being undertaken but haven't provided any evidence there isn't, and have now moved your criticism elsewhere.
You have now been told that crews are on contracts that does not mean they have to work that day.
Sorry, but until there is a way to change those contracts you are going to have to do without these trains.
No, I don't have evidence that there isn't engineering work being undertaken across the Valleys on NYD, but even if there is, it's highly unlikely that any engineering work would shut down the entirety of the Rhymney, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, Treherbert and City lines, and the Penarth and Barry Island branches, all at the same time on the same day, when there is curently no major upgrade project happening on these lines. The fact that Cardiff Valleys crews are not contracted to work NYD is a more plausible explanation, but not one that TfW twitter will want to communicate to passengers.

To question why in 2019 these lines into Wales' capital city from major population areas don't have a rail service when the rest of Wales does, is not unreasonable 'criticism'.
Hopefully with TfW's massive recruitment drive over the next few years this will change.
 
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adrock1976

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What's it called? It's called Cumbernauld
No, I don't have evidence that there isn't engineering work being undertaken across the Valleys on NYD, but even if there is, it's highly unlikely that any engineering work would shut down the entirety of the Rhymney, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, Treherbert and City lines, and the Penarth and Barry Island branches, all at the same time on the same day, when there is curently no major upgrade project happening on these lines. The fact that Cardiff Valleys crews are not contracted to work NYD is a more plausible explanation, but not one that TfW twitter will want to communicate to passengers.

To question why in 2019 these lines into Wales' capital city from major population areas don't have a rail service when the rest of Wales does, is not unreasonable 'criticism'.
Hopefully with TfW's massive recruitment drive over the next few years this will change.

I never knew that there were direct trains between Blaenau Ffestiniog/Pwllheli/Aberystwyth to Cardiff planned. Could you show me these trains please?
 

Llanigraham

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No, I don't have evidence that there isn't engineering work being undertaken across the Valleys on NYD, but even if there is, it's highly unlikely that any engineering work would shut down the entirety of the Rhymney, Coryton, Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare, Treherbert and City lines, and the Penarth and Barry Island branches, all at the same time on the same day, when there is curently no major upgrade project happening on these lines. The fact that Cardiff Valleys crews are not contracted to work NYD is a more plausible explanation, but not one that TfW twitter will want to communicate to passengers.

To question why in 2019 these lines into Wales' capital city from major population areas don't have a rail service when the rest of Wales does, is not unreasonable 'criticism'.
Hopefully with TfW's massive recruitment drive over the next few years this will change.

And you can hope as much as you like because as has been stated in other threads on here having drivers for the same ToC working different contracts is highly unlikely.
 

krus_aragon

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I never knew that there were direct trains between Blaenau Ffestiniog/Pwllheli/Aberystwyth to Cardiff planned. Could you show me these trains please?
Pedantry alert: the places you name do all have "a rail service". The "lines into Wales' capital city from major population areas" don't.

The sentence doesn't state that they're services to the capital, but points out the oddity that the (well populated) lines near the capital have no trains on New Year's.
 

daodao

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Pedantry alert: the places you name do all have "a rail service". The "lines into Wales' capital city from major population areas" don't.

The sentence doesn't state that they're services to the capital, but points out the oddity that the (well populated) lines near the capital have no trains on New Year's.

Most places currently have no buses on New Year's Day, although I note that Cardiff Bus now run a limited daytime service then in addition to the night services on New Year's Eve. Stagecoach South Wales are not running any services on New Year's Day. It probably isn't commercially viable to run the Valley Lines on New Year's Day, so why should there be rail services then. There haven't been any since at least 1984.

It is a long time since New Year's day was a normal working day in England and Wales, with rush hour buses if on a weekday.
 

Envoy

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James Price addressed the Cardiff Business Club - Media Wales report:
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/transport-wales-chief-exec-says-15627348

It is pleasing to hear of planned fare reductions for young people. However, one of the major problems that we have is school generated traffic. I know of teens who might use the trains for one or two stops but don’t because of the lack of short hop fares. They then get their parents to drive them to school. Would it not also be possible to allow free travel for teens going to school?
He added: “Free travel for under fives is going up to under-11s which is a big difference. Under-16s, when accompanied, will travel free off peak and half price child fares will extend to under-18... so again all big differences and big changes,
 

Gareth Marston

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James Price addressed the Cardiff Business Club - Media Wales report:
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/transport-wales-chief-exec-says-15627348

It is pleasing to hear of planned fare reductions for young people. However, one of the major problems that we have is school generated traffic. I know of teens who might use the trains for one or two stops but don’t because of the lack of short hop fares. They then get their parents to drive them to school. Would it not also be possible to allow free travel for teens going to school?

The reduced fares for under 18's has been trailed as a pan franchise thing not just for the Metro- we need a lot more detail on how this is going to work TfW share routes with other TOC's into Manchester and Birmingham. It could be a recipe for chaos if not handled right as the other TOC's do not have the scheme. At the very least the "free child" will have to get a nil value ticket issued to them by TfW.

Say at Stockport on a Saturday will every under 16 (and probably a load of over 16's pretending) cotton on that TfW are free and get nil value tickets and then ride everybody else's trains into Piccadilly?
 

Bletchleyite

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The reduced fares for under 18's has been trailed as a pan franchise thing not just for the Metro- we need a lot more detail on how this is going to work TfW share routes with other TOC's into Manchester and Birmingham. It could be a recipe for chaos if not handled right as the other TOC's do not have the scheme. At the very least the "free child" will have to get a nil value ticket issued to them by TfW.

Say at Stockport on a Saturday will every under 16 (and probably a load of over 16's pretending) cotton on that TfW are free and get nil value tickets and then ride everybody else's trains into Piccadilly?

Would it not be more like a concession scheme for Welsh residents only, who would receive a card like the present bus passes to entitle it?
 

Gareth Marston

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Would it not be more like a concession scheme for Welsh residents only, who would receive a card like the present bus passes to entitle it?

Then its not pan franchise if Borders are excluded which is not how the commitment has read in everything seen so far.

With the bus passes we have to issue them special nil cost to them tickets so as to count how many are using the scheme.
 

Envoy

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I was thinking more like the local lines in Cardiff - such as The City Line. (The Bishop of Llandaff High School is right by Fairwater station and Ysgol Plasmawr Welsh Language High School is not that far away. Both of these schools attract children from a wide area rather than being local catchment comprehensives like the nearby Cantonian High). I should add that special buses are laid on to take children to the 2 former schools.

I had not thought about the situation where Transport for Wales serve large English cities such as Manchester & Birmingham which also have other operators on the same lines. In that case, it simply would not work for Transport for Wales to offer free travel to children/teens going to school unless all the operators did the same thing in some kind of deal with the UK government or local Councils.

Is it not the case that children already travel for free on the Cambrian Coast Line to Harlech?
 
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Gareth Marston

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I was thinking more like the local lines in Cardiff - such as The City Line. (The Bishop of Llandaff High School is right by Fairwater station and Ysgol Plasdwr Welsh Language High School is not that far away. Both of these schools attract children from a wide area rather than being local catchment comprehensives like the nearby Cantonian High). I should add that special buses are laid on to take children to the 2 former schools.

I had not thought about the situation where Transport for Wales serve large English cities such as Manchester & Birmingham which also have other operators on the same lines. In that case, it simply would not work for Transport for Wales to offer free travel to children/teens going to school unless all the operators did the same thing in some kind of deal with the UK government or local Councils.

Is it not the case that children already travel for free on the Cambrian Coast Line to Harlech?

Just looked up the commitment again on TfW's website. It's a pan franchise commitment. Under 11's will be free, 16 to 18's half price and under 16's free off peak if accompanied by fare paying adult. The latter bit about fare paying adult I can't remember seeing before so could well be an unannounced revision.

The Cambrian coast schoolchildren are all over 11 and are in the catchment area of their local high schools but far enough away for the local authority to fund their transport. It's A statutory requirement So Gwynedd CC will continue to pay.
 

Envoy

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I read that they are planning to replace Cardiff’s ‘Heath’ Hospital. That being so, let us hope that the new one is built with a railway station on site in order to reduce the huge amount of traffic that such a large hospital generates. Any suggestions for a suitable site?
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/replace-university-hospital-wales-cardiff-15726559
The health board's executive director of strategic planning, Abigail Harris, said: “We are appointing a senior member of staff to establish the work programme for redeveloping/rebuilding UHW because it is generally recognised that the main building is no longer fit for purpose.”
 

Nick Ashwell

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I read that they are planning to replace Cardiff’s ‘Heath’ Hospital. That being so, let us hope that the new one is built with a railway station on site in order to reduce the huge amount of traffic that such a large hospital generates. Any suggestions for a suitable site?
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/health/replace-university-hospital-wales-cardiff-15726559

Considering its taken what 20 years (from idea to now) for Llanfrechfa Grange (with its closest possible station being if they reopen Caerleon) to be built to replace both the Gwent and Neville Hall and its replacing neither and yet to be finished this will be thirty years out. Plus they won't think rail is important when most people who go to hospitals use buses in city's. I can't think of a hospital with a station however I may be wrong.
 

John R

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Considering its taken what 20 years (from idea to now) for Llanfrechfa Grange (with its closest possible station being if they reopen Caerleon) to be built to replace both the Gwent and Neville Hall and its replacing neither and yet to be finished this will be thirty years out. Plus they won't think rail is important when most people who go to hospitals use buses in city's. I can't think of a hospital with a station however I may be wrong.
James Cook Hospital in Middlesborough had a new station opened a couple of years ago. Coming back to the Heath, it's just a shame that the nearest location for a station would mean walking through a cemetery to get to the hospital. Which probably wouldn't be the most tactful journey for either outpatients or visitors.
 

Cardiff123

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The most accessible hospital by train in Cardiff was always Whitchurch Hospital, literally a short walk across the road from Coryton station. Whitchurch Hospital is closed now and it's earmarked as apartments, although in the BBC article on this story it was mentioned some community health services will be re-located there.
So the 1970s hospital is showing it's age and needs to be re-built, but the hospital built in the 1900s can keep going!
 

PHILIPE

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Considering its taken what 20 years (from idea to now) for Llanfrechfa Grange (with its closest possible station being if they reopen Caerleon) to be built to replace both the Gwent and Neville Hall and its replacing neither and yet to be finished this will be thirty years out. Plus they won't think rail is important when most people who go to hospitals use buses in city's. I can't think of a hospital with a station however I may be wrong.

You can access the grounds of Gartnavel Hospital straight out of Hyndland station in Glasgow.
 

2T57

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Considering its taken what 20 years (from idea to now) for Llanfrechfa Grange (with its closest possible station being if they reopen Caerleon) to be built to replace both the Gwent and Neville Hall and its replacing neither and yet to be finished this will be thirty years out. Plus they won't think rail is important when most people who go to hospitals use buses in city's. I can't think of a hospital with a station however I may be wrong.

The major Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham is less than 10 minutes’ walk from University station. The hospital is clearly signposted from the station.
 

anthony263

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A update posted on a local Facebook group in maesteg this morning
 

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krus_aragon

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Picking out tidbits from the imaged text:
  • Two current (overlapping) TfW studies looking at frequency upgrades, one looking at four "metro-style" services per hour to Maesteg, and another looking at Ebbw Vale, possibly tying in with Maesteg for 2tph Maesteg-Ebbw. Reports expected back from the study groups in the next three months.
  • Sunday service to be introduced from December
  • Switching to 170 operation later this year; capacity upgrade "from 120 to 190". New rolling stock quoted as giving "425" (shurely includes increased frequency in that figure)
 

Envoy

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With an improved service on the Maesteg line, hopefully this will address the problems of overcrowding on these trains at Pontyclun - which will encourage additional users from the Llantrisant/ Talbot Green and Church Village areas to use these trains. However, things are not made easy at Pontyclun due to the limited parking - which I think Transport for Wales should address as soon as possible. For example, the cycleway running alongside the river Ely could be turned into a road into a new car park on the former railway sidings to the west of the station. This would help motorists gain access from the north to Pontyclun station without having to drive through the main street. Likewise, a solution should be found to create an easy to enter car park for those driving to the station from the south (Ystradowen, Aberthin & Llanharri). A present, parking for this station is a complete shambles. It would also help if local buses could ‘feed’ passengers into Pontyclun station and match the train times. (Buses to Cardiff using the slow A4119 via Llandaff take ages).

The fact that the Welsh Government are allowing much of the attractive countryside to be built on between Cardiff and Llantrisant as well as their ridiculous plans for a Business Park on the already congested J33 (Cardiff West) whilst at the same time denying access to the M4 for the increased population, gives all the more reason to sort out the parking situation at Pontyclun station.

Map of Pontyclun station:>https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.5245225,-3.3907264,581m/data=!3m1!1e3!5m1!1e1
 
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£50m of new transport projects for the south Wales Metro
The projects will be part funded by the £1.2bn City Deal for the Cardiff Capital Region

Some £50m of Metro plus transport schemes, including new integrated rail and bus hubs, have been identified across the Cardiff Capital Region.

The next phase of the south Wales Metro will see electrification of the core Valley lines into Cardiff, for which funding of £738m from the £1.2bn City Deal for the 10 local authorities that make up the Cardiff Capital Region, has been ring fenced.

Now under the so called Metro Plus Regional Transport Authority (RTA) programme, ten schemes have been identified that could see each local authority within the city region receiving £3m each to implement schemes in their specific areas.

The Metro plus projects have secured a £15m investment from Cardiff Capital Region's City Deal, with a potential co-investment of £15m from Welsh Government.

The remaining £20m will be sourced through local developer contributions, private sector investment and other contributions such ascCouncil capital funds.

Programme delivery would commence in 2019 and be complete by 2022.

Proposed schemes include:

The creation of a 3-4 mile rail link from Abertillery to Ebbw Valley at Aberbeeg, including a park andrRide for 100 vehicles

A transport interchange for Caerphilly, on the site of the current bus and rail stations, complete with electronic information, electric vehicle charging for buses and a larger Park and Ride facility.

A transport hub at Porth, which will house a seven bay bus interchange, taxi rank and cycle racks, with direct access to the rail station platforms and the park and ride.

A bus and rail interchange at Barry, complete with four to five bus bays, provision for taxis and the potential extension of the existing Park and Ride site,

A park and ride facility at Pyle as part of the development of an integrated transport hub that serves the local community and the nearby settlements of Porthcawl, Kenfig Hill, Cefn Cribwr and Cornelly.

A new bus interchange and link between bus station and rail station within Merthyr Tydfil, as well as the creation of a park and ride facility at Pentrebach.

An additional 150-200 space car park on the south side of Severn Tunnel Junction station and 40 additional bike and ride spaces, a revamped bus-rail interchange, electric vehicle charging spaces and an improved station building

A park and ride facility at Pontypool and New Inn Station with a minimum of 200 spaces including electric vehicle charging.

Improvements to the Newport to Cardiff bus corridor to increase bus use and improve journey times, along with the introduction of a Park and Ride facility to the east of Newport

A series of s active travel packages including for Cardiff: new bus priority measures, the installation of a Central Cycle Superhighway, pedestrian crossing improvements, traffic calming measures, air quality improvements, as well as improved cycle parking.

Some are longstanding transport projects.

However, there is still a need for an overarching city region transport plan for future Metro plus projects that is also aligned to new housing developments so that they are served with adequate public transport provision.

The City Deal has also committed £40m in funding towards a major development of Cardiff Central Railway Station, needed for it to cope with a projected huge rise in passengers over the next two decades.

However, an invest of around £100m is required with the Welsh Government in discussions with the UK Government in seeking to secure the required funding for a station that is not devolved.

Huw David, chair of the Cardiff Capital Region Transport Authority, and leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “The schemes proposed through the Metro Plus programme have been drawn from the priorities of individual Councils and mirror the ‘Metro spine’ – creating both short and longer-term opportunities for communities throughout South East Wales.

“The ten proposed schemes within phase one of the wider Metro Plus programme represent a diverse range of projects, with transport as the central component for enabling growth, expansion and opportunity to be unlocked.

“Metro Plus provides the potential to develop a whole programme of activity that contributes to, complements and enhances Metro and mobility delivery in the region.”

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and chair of the Cardiff Capital Region, Andrew Morgan, said: “The Metro Plus programme is a joint project with Welsh Government and will go a long way in enhancing connectivity for the whole region.

“Phase one will see a host of benefits for all ten local authority regions within the near future, which will support and enhance the wider Metro programme.”

Kellie Beirne, director of the Cardiff Capital Region, said: “The South Wales Metro is a major ambitious ‘modal shift’ project connecting people and places and enhancing the functional economic geography of the region. It is, however, a medium to long term ambition.

“Metro plus will support the rapid implementation of a series of more localised measures, which will help to deliver sustainable economic development, by connecting people, communities and business to employment, services, facilities and markets through reliable, resilient infrastructure.”

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/business/business-news/50m-new-transport-projects-south-15930921
 

MarkyT

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Well, there was a brief mention: "The current Ebbw Valley Railway service is 1tph, The Transport Minister announced 2nd train service per hour to be introduced by 2021 to Newport."
OK but that doesn't really resolve the Abertillery plans. The 'obvious' solution would be trains alternating along each valley, but they can't then both go direct to Cardiff. Perhaps Abertillery will be a self contained branch instead with a shuttle connecting into a half hourly Ebbw Vale service at Aberbeeg. If they're doing that though, the shuttle needn't be a train, or even rail based at all.
 
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Dai Corner

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OK but that doesn't really resolve the Abertillery plans. The 'obvious' solution would be trains alternating along each valley, but they can't then both go direct to Cardiff. Perhaps Abertillery will be a self contained branch instead with a shuttle connecting into a half hourly Ebbw Vale service at Aberbeeg. If they're doing that though, the shuttle needn't be a train, or even rail based at all.

They could serve Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Cardiff and Newport if they coupled / uncoupled in service at Aberbeeg and Pye Corner. I think a shuttle bus with a Transport for Wales sticker on is more likely though. There are already commercially operated buses between Abertillery and Llanhilleth and Newport and Pye Corner.
 

MarkyT

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They could serve Ebbw Vale, Abertillery, Cardiff and Newport if they coupled / uncoupled in service at Aberbeeg and Pye Corner. I think a shuttle bus with a Transport for Wales sticker on is more likely though. There are already commercially operated buses between Abertillery and Llanhilleth and Newport and Pye Corner.
Splitting and joining would turn a 30 second stop into a risky few minutes. Not ideal if it could be avoided. I'd run all trains through to Cardiff via a reversal at Newport if I was in charge! I was an electrical draughtsman in the South Wales section of the BR(WR) signalling drawing office at Reading back in the 1980s. Passenger services to Ebbw Vale were being discussed even back then, but the assumption was always that they would ideally go into Newport, although it was recognised at the time the capacity didn't exist for that. When the new Cardiff service was proposed via the west curve at Ebbw Junction it was explained as only temporary until capacity was created at Newport station by resignalling etc. Of course once Cardiff commuters got used to the shorter journey times avoiding reversal at Newport then it became politically impossible to inflate them again, so we now have the ridiculous scenario of trains passing within a couple of miles of a major city centre with excellent interchange opportunities to the east without stopping there. Do many people jump out at Pye corner to get the bus into Newport Centre? I'd imagine the road leg journey time is pretty variable in the peaks and can you even get a reasonable price for a through fare?
 

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