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Author Topic: Network Rail launches sale of Cardiff Valley Lines  (Read 1728 times)
grahame
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« on: February 25, 2019, 09:21:18 pm »

From Rail News

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Network Rail has launched the process of selling the 137km of Valley Lines routes in south Wales to the Welsh Government.

The proposed deal, which has been notified to key people in the railway industry, is the first sale of its kind since Railtrack was created in 1994.

When it has gone through, the Valley Lines network, including Cardiff Queen Street station, will be outside the control or responsibility of Network Rail, in the same way that Transport for London already owns and maintains some 400km of railways.

A one-month consultation started on Friday (22 February), and the proposed sale date is 22 September, with completion of the handover due to follow in March next year.

The transaction is expected to require the approval of the Office of Rail and Road.

The Valleys network is to be modernised and electrified to become a core element in the South Wales Metro. It will be controlled from a separate signalling centre at Taffs Well, where a new depot is also being built.

The lines are being sold on a freehold basis, including buildings and operational assets.

The routes are Cardiff Bay via Cardiff Queen Street to Rhymney and Coryton plus the routes from Cardiff Queen Street North Junction to Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Treherbert, plus the freight lines to Hirwaun and Cwmbargoed.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2019, 07:51:57 am »

Are we supprised, not...... Roll Eyes

...and this comment elsewhere about sums it up...

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So the Government is selling off Government assets...to the Government. Wonderful.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2019, 08:02:01 am by SandTEngineer » Logged

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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 08:44:58 am »

So how much is the Government charging the Government?
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welshman
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 01:54:31 pm »

It'll be with the chunk of NR funding allotted to maintain it at the moment.  WG can then fund the bringing of the new-fangled electric railway to the Valley Lines. 

It's the People's Republic over this side of the water.  Health, Environment and Education are already devolved so we don't have any of this PFI twaddle.  The award of the TfW franchise was also devolved so it makes sense to devolve the local infrastructure as well.

And it ends the fardel of Failing Grayling, at least in part.  A consummation devoutly to be wished.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2019, 09:06:15 pm »

From the TSSA

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TSSA Safety Concerns About Valley Rail Lines Sale
27 February 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has expressed serious concerns about the proposed sale to the Welsh Government of the Valley Lines in South Wales, including Cardiff Queen Street station.

The move would see these lines transfer from publicly-owned Network Rail to the Welsh Government, which would then contract a private company to run them.

The deal is the first time a significant part of the national rail network has been sold off since British Rail was created in 1948. It will also be the first time that a chunk of Wales' railways would be run by the private sector since Railtrack was forced into administration in 2002.

Railtrack was wound up following a series of rail disasters that TSSA firmly blames on the private company putting profit before safety.

A one-month consultation started on Friday (22nd February), and the proposed sale date is 22nd September, with completion of the handover due to follow in March 2020.

Commenting, Manuel Cortes said: “TSSA members are rightly concerned about what the proposed handover to private operators will mean for safety. No-one wants to see a 'Welsh Railtrack'.

“Rail passengers in South Wales should be asking why Network Rail, a company that runs the safest railway in the world, should relinquish control of the Valley lines to the private sector.

"This move by the Labour-run Wales Government makes no sense - especially given UK Labour 's commitment to renationalising Britain's railways."

TSSA also has concerns about the financial risks to the Welsh Government which will have to effectively underwrite a piece of railway which is desperately in need of investment and modernisation, and which is very vulnerable to flooding and mining subsidence.

The Valleys routes are Cardiff Bay via Cardiff Queen Street to Rhymney and Coryton plus the routes from Cardiff Queen Street North Junction to Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Treherbert, plus the freight lines to Hirwaun and Cwmbargoed. 
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2019, 07:48:18 pm »

This gets more complex. From ITV

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South Wales Metro could be delayed by Brexit, warns Welsh Government

The handover of the valleys railway lines that will form the core of the South Wales Metro could be delayed by Brexit, according to the Welsh Government.

Transport for Wales is due to take control of the tracks on all the routes that run to and from Cardiff Central via Queen Street.

Known as the Core Valleys Lines, they are due to be electrified by Keolis Amey, the consortium that also operates all Transport for Wales trains.

Network Rail is due to hand over the lines in September, provided that transfer is signed off by the UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, in June.

The Welsh Government's Economy and Transport Minister, Ken Skates, is now warning that Brexit is putting that timetable at risk.

He claims that the Department for Transport is prioritising preparations for a no deal Brexit and might not be ready for the handover of the Core Valleys Lines.
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TonyK
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« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2019, 09:08:49 pm »

Are we supprised, not...... Roll Eyes

...and this comment elsewhere about sums it up...

Quote
So the Government is selling off Government assets...to the Government. Wonderful.

I hope they get a good price for it!
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Now, please!
jamestheredengine
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 07:50:50 am »

This gets more complex.

Or maybe Cllr Skates is just grandstanding.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2019, 02:39:55 pm »

This gets more complex.

Or maybe Cllr Skates is just grandstanding.

Oui; c'est la guerre...
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Lee
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2019, 03:06:50 pm »

Ou la guerre des gares...
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TonyK
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2019, 05:12:33 pm »

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la gare. Et ce n'est pas si blooming magnifique anyway.
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