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Author Topic: Ebbw Vale direct service to (or via?) Newport?  (Read 694 times)
grahame
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« on: April 29, 2018, 08:52:49 pm »

From the South Wales Argus - a proposal to run trains from Ebbw Vale into Newport as well as Cardiff.

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CALLS have been made for the resurrection of a long-standing South Wales Argus campaign to reopen a rail passenger line between Newport and Ebbw Vale.

Conservative councillor Matthew Evans told a meeting of Newport City Council that the “Get Us Back On Track” campaign could help the efforts of politicians at local and national level to bring the delayed plans forward.

My understanding of the geography is that the Cardiff to Ebbw Vale services passes through the suburbs of Newport already, around one side of a triangle.  Second side is the south Wales main line, third side (that would be used by the service) is in situ and indeed used by freight, and has been used in an emergency for passengers.

It would seem to my (English) mind to make common sense for (some) trains from the valley above Newport to serve Newport  Grin - and also provide a much quicker link from the valley and its residential area to employment in Newport and indeed across the border in England;  Ebbw Vale to Bristol perhaps, also meeting the aspiration of a second train calling at intermediate stations such as Severn Tunnel Junction and Patchway.  See [here]

Potential timetable / hourly pattern?

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metalrail
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 09:24:30 pm »

Sounds good to me...  I actually thought the line from Park Junction to Gaer Junction was supposed to have been turned over to passenger service some years back once Pye Corner had opened to give direct services to NWP.  I used to work with a fair few people from the Ebbw valley when I worked at Aztec West, and am sure they've had loved being able to get there much easier than the nightmare we all encountered every morning and evening rush hour around Aztec roundabout!

Plus lets face it any increase to the local PWY service has to be a good thing!
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welshman
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 11:48:18 pm »

The infrastructure is in place, I believe.  Services ran to Newport rather than Cardiff for a period in 2016.

There was a need for double-tracking a further section to increase line capacity but this work has been completed.  The issue is at least partly lack of rolling stock.

It is suggested that the new franchise agreement may include a requirement for Newport-Ebbw Vale services.
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martyjon
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 06:29:01 am »

I never understood the logic of NOT operating the re-opened Ebbw Vale line services to / via Newport when it was 'so near yet so far'. A reversal at Newport would have still provided a service to Cardiff and more convenient connections to London and to Birmingham and points north, compare this to the GWR services Cheltenham - London and Cheltenham - Bristol if these were not to call at Gloucester 'for operational convenience'..
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 07:01:04 am »

I too thought that the Ebbw Vale service was going to come into Newport station fairly soon after it started; I'm amazed they're still waiting years later.

You can make out the chord on the map ... wonder if there's some issue with passengers through the tunnel on it?



I used to work with a fair few people from the Ebbw valley when I worked at Aztec West, and am sure they've had loved being able to get there much easier than the nightmare we all encountered every morning and evening rush hour around Aztec roundabout!

Plus lets face it any increase to the local PWY service has to be a good thing!

Agreed - it would seem like a win, win ...
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martyjon
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 07:19:29 am »

I too thought that the Ebbw Vale service was going to come into Newport station fairly soon after it started; I'm amazed they're still waiting years later.

You can make out the chord on the map ... wonder if there's some issue with passengers through the tunnel on it?

Agreed - it would seem like a win, win ...

I can't remember there being a tunnel on the chord line to Park Junction after passing through the main line / relief line tunnels just on the Cardiff side of Newport station, I have been on a train that has actually been turned on the triangle, into Newport then to Alexandra Dock Junction, reverse to Park Junction then forwards back into Newport.

Edit: Having looked at Google Maps, there is a tunnel on the chord line to Park Junction, my apologies, reminds me of the day I fell asleep on a service from London to Bristol Parkway and woke up just as the train was passing Alexandra Dock Junction and luckily there was just one service, the last one of the day back to Bristol Parkway from Cardiff.

« Last Edit: April 30, 2018, 08:26:30 am by martyjon » Logged
ellendune
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 08:17:34 am »

I dimly recall that the original reason given was something to do with the signalling at Newport that would be fixed when the Newport resignalling went ahead.  Clearly that has happened so there should be no impediment.  Do I remember correctly?

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eightf48544
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 12:21:51 pm »

Should be no problem with passenger trains on the chord. Been via the chord on a UK railtours Clsss 66 hauled set of Mark 1s last year.



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Trowres
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 10:22:56 pm »

I dimly recall that the original reason given was something to do with the signalling at Newport that would be fixed when the Newport resignalling went ahead.  Clearly that has happened so there should be no impediment.  Do I remember correctly?


The Newport resignalling included an extra crossover west of Hillfield Tunnel (between the main lines) to facilitate running toward Ebbw Vale. My recollection is that the Welsh Assembly Government were asked for around £2m for this.

I can't remember if there were problems with Park Junction also, nor whether they have been solved. Trains between Ebbw Vale and Newport have been timetabled when the route to Cardiff was closed.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2018, 04:48:10 pm »

Noting this new service is in the new franchise

http://tfw.gov.wales/whats-happening-south-east-wales

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Train service improvements include:

A new 1 train per hour (tph) Ebbw Vale to Newport service by May 2021.

Now ... join it up to the Bristol Parkway to Weston-super-mare service, serving all intermediate stations in both directions, and you bring bigger benefits than the individual (unlinked) services
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bignosemac
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2018, 07:43:15 pm »

Who operates and funds such a service? TfW/KeolisAmey or DfT/Greater Western franchisee?

Or a return of cross border cooperation as happened in the past with Wessex Trains and Wales & Borders? That was helped though by both franchises being run by the same parent.
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 07:58:24 pm »

Who operates and funds such a service? TfW/KeolisAmey or DfT/Greater Western franchisee?

Or a return of cross border cooperation as happened in the past with Wessex Trains and Wales & Borders? That was helped though by both franchises being run by the same parent.

I suspect Joe Public doesn't care - just wants trains that are clean, safe, on time as timetabled, with enough capacity for the passengers, at fares that are understandable and reasonable.
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Louis94
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« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 03:29:09 pm »

There was a need for double-tracking a further section to increase line capacity but this work has been completed.  The issue is at least partly lack of rolling stock.


If you are referring to the doubling North of Crosskeys to the former Aberbeeg Junction (Just north of Llanhilleth), then this work has not been completed yet. Last I heard it had been paused, although there was never any official source for this. As far as I am aware the aim is to deliver the additional services between Newport and Ebbw Vale by May 2021, so the passing loop will need to be available for then if this is the case.
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