Or, and hear me out on this radical idea, 2tph from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff and 2tph from Aberbeeg to Newport... This could also be Ebbw Vale-Newport and Aberbeeg-Cardiff if that is more useful.Or 2tph from Ebbw Vale Town one going to Cardiff and one to Newport with the same service from Aberbeeg giving 4tph between Llanhilleth and Pye Corner.
Depends on quality of the connection. Close, level interchange, shelter, minimal wait time and plenty of real time info is good. A long walk, ages to wait, and only printed timetables is rubbish. Many bus connections more resemble the latter unfortunately, but it needn't be the case. Rail stations also usually have car parks, drop off points, decent shelters etc. Bus stops sometimes have rudimentary shelters, but rarely anything else, unless they are elaborate park and ride locations. Those considerations could figure in plans for the stops along the Abertillery branch whichever mode is chosen.Either a shuttle between Abertillery and Aberbeeg needs to be introduced (bar the first and last service of the day that can be a self contained branchline, might prove dificult from a staff logistical point being so far away from Cardiff/Canton) - but having to take two trains to get to work/the shops might be unappealing to some (but a hell of a lot more appealing than a bus then a train)
Not that a theoretical 4tph that is actually very useful in this case though. People are actually going to Cardiff or Newport so having 4 an hour to a wet platform just outside the latter isn't actually an attractive proposition over a half hourly train, especially as it is reported that people hardly ever interchange at said platform. It's a good service though, but how would it degrade in the evenings and on Sundays (say). Dropping to hourly on each would be unattractive. I'd say at these quiet times the direct Cardiffs should be dropped and the remaining trains should all run to Cardiff via Newport and reverse. The journey time would be inflated by say seven to ten minutes to Cardiff but the frequency to both Cardiff and Newport would remain exactly the same as during the day. The extras to Cardiff direct would then be running at peak times and during the daytime primarily to satisfy higher demand and provide an express service, but costs could be reduced off peak.Or 2tph from Ebbw Vale Town one going to Cardiff and one to Newport with the same service from Aberbeeg giving 4tph between Llanhilleth and Pye Corner.
As I said, not really 4 tph but rather two separate 2tph services that happen to provide a high frequency service between a few intermediate stops rather than to the major destinations where people actually want to go!Obviusly extra track/passing loops will need to be built/finished (work did stop mid way through 2017 didn't it?) but it will help get what the Welsh Govt call 'Metro frequency' of 4tph.
I think my idea would be more attractive to Joe public as it would allow for a direct service from both valleys to each of Cardiff and Newport. Appreciate the more complex timetabling of it, but I don’t think the good folk of Aberbeeg will appreciate having to change trains to get to Cardiff(or Newport)Or, and hear me out on this radical idea, 2tph from Ebbw Vale to Cardiff and 2tph from Aberbeeg to Newport... This could also be Ebbw Vale-Newport and Aberbeeg-Cardiff if that is more useful.
2*2tph is easier than 4*1tph to use and operate.
But people don’t like buses.Depends on quality of the connection. Close, level interchange, shelter, minimal wait time and plenty of real time info is good. A long walk, ages to wait, and only printed timetables is rubbish. Many bus connections more resemble the latter unfortunately, but it needn't be the case. Rail stations also usually have car parks, drop off points, decent shelters etc. Bus stops sometimes have rudimentary shelters, but rarely anything else, unless they are elaborate park and ride locations. Those considerations could figure in plans for the stops along the Abertillery branch whichever mode is chosen.
Your scenario has them either has them waiting for the hourly train (at home normally), or changing from the train to the wrong city onto one that goes to the right one.I don’t think the good folk of Aberbeeg will appreciate having to change trains
Err, those would be mutually exclusive options - if Aberbeeg have to change to get to Cardiff, then Ebbw Vale wouldn't!Aberbeeg will appreciate having to change trains to get to Cardiff(or Newport) not would people in Ebbw Vale take lightly no longer having a direct train to the capital which had been so successful over the last decade.
1tph to Cardiff and 1tph from both Ebbw Vale and Abertillery (giving four trains per hour from Aberbeeg to Pye Corner, all be it not quite at equal 15 minute intervals) would serve both valley heads with people able to go south and then go either east to Newport or west to Cardiff) as well as giving the lower two thirds of the line the 15 minute service the rest of South Wales is getting.Your scenario has them either has them waiting for the hourly train (at home normally), or changing from the train to the wrong city onto one that goes to the right one.
Err, those would be mutually exclusive options - if Aberbeeg have to change to get to Cardiff, then Ebbw Vale wouldn't!
But lots of passengers in your scenario would change anyway - for most people the change penalty is less than the waiting for the direct train (especially as it might be 45 minutes!).
Everywhere to everywhere service isn't convenient or reliable (both for railway operations, or for customers knowing whether the next train will mean a change or not until it's on the displays. The latter, of course, is the antithesis of 'metro'.
Meanwhile, I note that £13 million has been wasted on ‘improvements’ to M4 J28 at Tredegar Park which has resulted in massive tailbacks in the morning peak going up the valley. See image:>OPENING a rail link from Ebbw Vale to Newport is not in the best interests of the Valleys, Blaenau Gwent’s AM has said.
Alun Davies says he would like to see the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line improved with a metro-style train service to the capital.
“I don’t think the voice of Blaenau Gwent has been heard, the debate has been driven by what’s best for Newport,” he told the Argus.
No. The Welsh Government and their associates have no control over the SWML, Network Rail full control.Does anyone know if electrification to Maesteg will happen as part of Metro plans? If so, another few miles of the mainline to Swansea as far as Bridgend would be available to electric traction.
There's a couple of scenarios here wrt trains on a 4*1tph pattern. In all of them, changing is a useful thing to do, but only on some journeys as others are left stuck as hourly - ie you have to wait an hour for the train after the next train if you've missed your train - far more frustrating!I don't see why anyone would change. If you missed the train you were aiming for by less than ten minutes then yes catch the next one to a different city, change trains after a circa 10 minute wait then travel the 12/15 minutes to the correct city, but that would only be quicker and work at certain times, for most people, who've missed their train, while it would be frustrating you'd have to wait for the next train (which is what they have to do now).
In Appendix A - P51 > They state that the disused rail line will become an off-road cycleway.The Rail Contribution is to be used for the purposes of the replacement of existing waiting shelters at Waun Gron,Fairwater and Danescourt stations(2 no.at each station)and a new cycle shelter at Danescourt Station
Yes, by up to 50% should it accumulate, and depending on type.The idea of using line side photovoltaic cells seems an attractive idea but looking at the illustration attached to the above article - one does have to raise the questions - Will the efficiency of photo-voltaic cells been impaired by dust originating from loaded freight trains?
Now, a new railway station at Miskin is all well and good and it would surely attract motorists off the nearby road network in order to take trains into Cardiff Central or to head west. (It is a pity that no decent parking provision has been made at nearby Pontyclun as areas near the station are overloaded with parked cars). What I find bonkers about the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s idea is that such a station would serve Cardiff Airport - presumably via a bus link along this new road and the improved ‘Five Mile Lane’ to Barry. Do they think that the main line express services are going to stop at such a station - especially as we constantly hear moans about how long it takes to go west of Cardiff by train compared to going east? To reach such a station is likely to take about 14 minutes from Cardiff and 17 minutes from Bridgend (on a stopper). You then have to add on the bus journey to the Airport - which is about 9 miles to the south via non-dual highways. So, why would this make sense when the express trains already stop at Bridgend - with a 24 minute train ride to Rhoose station or Cardiff with a 30 minute train ride to Rhoose station? From Rhoose station, we have a roughly 1 mile bus journey to the terminal buildings along relatively quiet roads. What is clearly needed is an increase in the frequency of trains along the Vale Coast Line from 1 an hour (1 very other hour on Sundays) to 1 every half hour. Unfortunately this appears to have been put on the back burner with no plans for a half hourly service until 2023. To have Miskin as a railway station serving Cardiff Airport makes no sense at all.Vale of Glamorgan council has announced it favours a road stretching to the west of Pendoylan, linking junction 34 of the M4 with the A48 south of Sycamore Cross.
The council is also expected to press the case for a new railway station and a park and ride near junction 34 which would link to Cardiff Airport.
I think the full handover to TfW will be complete by Spring 2020 and then expect 2-3 years of intensive engineering works, as unless the works are completed by 2023 Welsh Govt loses the EU funding they've been granted for it.If this is mentioned already earlier in the thread then my apologies but does anyone know when we will first be able to see any physical signs of the work needed to get the lines through Pontypridd 'metro ready'. I hope it is clear what I mean. Any civil engineering project at all?
Welsh Govt are getting the funding from the EU regardless of Brexit, as long as they complete the works by 2023. They applied for the funding last year.Does this timescale still apply post Brexit- have the Government guaranteed that EU funding will be replaced?
No, Welsh Govt have been granted and guaranteed the EU funding regardless, as long as the works are completed by 2023. If Alan Cairns and UK govt get any say in it, the whole thing would be cancelled.They may well have but I fail to see how they are entitled to EU funding after we have left. So this like other EU funded projects will be a matter for the UK government to decided how to progress. Or I think it will.
A shortage of rolling stock has forced Transport for Wales to use locomotive-hauled trains on the Valley Lines from May.
Class 37s and Mk 2s will be used on two peak-time duties on the Rhymney route, with each train having 220 seats - the equivalent of a pair of Class 150s currently used on the route.
This will free Class 150s and ‘158s’ to undergo internal refurbishment, enabling them to meet January 1 2020 accessibility deadlines. TfW plans to rid itself of its Pacer fleet as quickly as possible through a number of cascades.
While Riviera Trains is expected to provide the coaches, a TfW spokesman told RAIL that there are a couple of options for the locomotive supplier. It has since been confirmed that Colas Railfreight will supply the locomotives, and it has already sent 37418 to Cardiff Canton for crew training. It has two electric train heat-fitted ‘37s’ on its books (37418/421).
TfW has chosen Class 37s because they have operated on the route before, and are therefore tried and tested. They finished working for Arriva Trains Wales on the Valleys in December 2005.
“In addition to our £800 million investment in brand new rolling stock, we also recognise there is an urgent need to increase capacity on some of the busiest routes on our network,” said TfW Chief Executive James Price.