Train Graphic
Great Western Passengers' Forum Great Western Coffee Shop - [home] and [about]
Read about the forum [here]. Register and contribute [here] - it's free.
Random Image
Train Running @GWR Twitter Acronyms/Abbreviations Station Comparator Rail News GWR co. site Site Style 1 2 3 4 Chat on off
July 22, 2018, 03:50:43 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Forgotten your username or password? - get a reminder
Most liked recent subjects
[56] Delays make you happy?
[55] Bus use by the over 60s
[54] Shortage of train crews on Great Western Railway since Septemb...
[49] Comedian humiliated for using disabled space on train - BBC Ne...
[46] Bristol's Temple Gate layout change planned in 21m revamp
[28] ScotRail's plans for their HSTs.
News: A forum for passengers ... with input from rail professionals welcomed too
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: South Wales lines - General Information  (Read 5972 times)
Phil
Global Moderator
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 1903



View Profile
« on: February 14, 2008, 08:53:45 pm »

Description of line
West of Severn Tunnel Junction the Great Western mainline continues through the major stations of Newport (just after a junction with the line) Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Port Talbot Parkway and Neath to Swansea. Around Cardiff is the 'Valley Lines' commuter network consisting of several lines north of the GWML and the Vale of Glamorgan line, which takes a more southerly route between Bridgend and Cardiff with branches to Penarth and Barry Island. Leaving Newport eastbound a line heads north away from the GWML to Hereford, used by the current North Wales to South Wales services, among others.

Swansea station is a terminus, however as well as the GWML towards Cardiff there is a line which continues westwards. In this direction, a section of single track (including Gowerton station) takes the line part of the way to Llanelli, where there is a junction for the Heart Of Wales Line to Shrewsbury (trains from Swansea need to reverse at Llanelli station to access the Heart Of Wales Line). Between Port Talbot and Neath, near the minor station at Briton Ferry, there is a so-called freight-only line known as the 'Swansea District Line' which bypasses Swansea and Neath stations to connect with the Heart Of Wales Line. The Swansea District Line, the southern part of the Heart Of Wales line that links it to Llanelli and Llanelli station itself are all double tracked. Continuing west from Llanelli the line from Swansea remains double and eventually reaches Carmarthen, where there is a bypass line avoiding the station, which has been a terminus since the closure of several northbound routes. Most trains do not use the bypass line but either terminate or reverse in the station.

The line west from Carmarthen first reaches Whitland where there is a junction for the single track branch to Pembroke Dock (which has a passing loop at the station for the holiday resort of Tenby). The double track line continues west through two request stops. Near the second (Clarbeston Road) the double track stops and there is a two-way junction. In one direction the railway serves Haverfordwest (where there is a passing loop), Johnston (request stop) and Milford Haven. There were 3 oil refineries near Milford Haven, each with a freight-only branch line, only one of these is still an oil refinery, although only one of the 3 freight lines shows on the map as having been dismantled. Back at Clarbeston Road the other line heads for Fishguard Harbour, all intermediate stations on this line are closed.

First Great Western journeys made within Wales
The FGW services that penetrate furthest into Wales are INTERCITY 125 express services from London Paddington. As far as regular services are concerned there is an hourly between Paddington and Swansea for much of the day Monday-Saturday. These trains form roughly half of an even more frequent FGW INTERCITY 125 service between Cardiff Central and London Paddington. Carmarthen receives a single train from Paddington on weekday evenings with a morning departure to Paddington.

On summer Saturdays at Carmarthen there are three departures to, and two arrivals from, London Paddington. Of these, 1 service from Paddington continues to Pembroke Dock and 2 of the services to Paddington originate from Pembroke Dock. These services are balanced by a service to Pembroke Dock from a point other than Paddington (probably Swansea). Some of the Pembroke Dock INTERCITYS call at the tiny stations on the Pembroke Dock branch, while others don^t. On Sundays there are three direct services each way between Carmarthen and Paddington.

Other First Great Western services in Wales come no further west than Cardiff Central. These include the Cardiff - Portsmouth services (run using class 158 DMUs) and services to Taunton.

Service offered
Most other services are currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales except for Cross Country services into England from Cardiff Central. The following regards Monday to Saturday services. West of Cardiff, apart from valley lines trains and local stopping services between Cardiff and Swansea, Arriva^s services include a two-hourly service to Manchester from Carmarthen and another two-hourly Manchester service from Milford Haven, making this service hourly between Manchester and Carmarthen. The Manchester trains are generally semi-fast services. There is also a two-hourly ATW stopper service between Swansea and Pembroke Dock, some elements of which are replaced by the FGW summer Saturday service. Heart Of Wales services generally start from Swansea, reverse at Llanelli, and continue to Shrewsbury, there are only a few trains per day (4 I think) each way.

The final element of South-West Wales passenger services is the Fishguard Harbour runs. There is one train to Fishguard Harbour from Cardiff Central calling at only Llanelli and Whitland, using both the Swansea district line and Carmarthen avoider (I^m 99% sure this is the only passenger service that does so). This train arrives at Fishguard at about 13:15 and departs 15 mins later, calling at Whitland, Carmarthen, Llanelli and Cardiff and continuing to Cheltenham Spa as one of the normal Cardiff ^ Cheltenham stoppers. It uses the Swanswa district line in this direction too. Despite the very limited stopping pattern in both directions this train is normally a class 150 unit. The only other service to Fishguard is in the middle of the night and runs to/from Swansea.

Known issues
^   Single track between Swansea and Llanelli is a capacity bottleneck. Plans to re-double the line in connection with renewal of a viaduct on the section exist
^   Fishguard^s two trains per-24hours are timed to meet ferries, not the needs of Fishguard residents. There are also 2 (summer only) ferry sailings without train connections
^   Apart from the day Fishguard train very few services use the district line which not only avoids the capacity bottleneck but also has the potential to cut journey times by 15mins without needing linespeed improvements
^   Trains on the Pembroke Dock services tend to have a long wait at Pembroke Dock to time their return trip to allow them to pass the next service at Tenby, the only passing loop on the branch

Thanks to Rhydgaled for this! - Phil
« Last Edit: August 16, 2010, 08:36:19 pm by Phil » Logged
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

 
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.2 | SMF © 2006-2007, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
This forum is provided by a customer of Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western), and the views expressed are those of the individual posters concerned. Visit www.gwr.com for the official Great Western Railway website. Please contact the administrators of this site if you feel that the content provided by one of our posters contravenes our posting rules (email link). Forum hosted by Well House Consultants