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South East Wales Transport Alliance Rail Strategy Study 2013 Project No: B1874900

Jacobs Sewta Rail Strategy 2013 Final Report

Below part of the report

In the last decade rail passenger demand on the Valley Lines 1 has been growing at around 6% per annum with some lines experiencing 80% growth between 2000 and 2009, significantly higher than the average for the UK. Recent data analysis suggests that this high rate of demand growth is continuing and will result in significant train capacity problems requiring additional network capacity.


“Coping with Growth”

• Additional rolling stock is required to strengthen peak trains to address passenger growth and to avoid overcrowding. Rolling stock renewal coupled with electrification of the Valley Lines will provide more suitable rolling stock in the medium / long term that is more capable of meeting the punishing local requirements, however, some further issues remain;


It was concluded that on the Intercity, Regional, Chepstow, Abergavenny, Penarth and Cardiff Bay lines there will be sufficient capacity to accommodate anticipated passenger growth for a significant period.

However, the analysis suggests that there will be a short term requirement for additional rolling stock on many Valley Lines services if peak period demand increases are to be accommodated without overcrowding or demand suppression.


The implications on platform lengths would need to be further assessed, especially where they have been extended for 4-car trains, such as the Aberdare Line. Post electrification only 3-car trains will be able to call at those locations, assuming operation of a 3-car EMU fleet and without further platform lengthening. However, the planned capacity enhancement at Cardiff will offset the requirement to operate long trains to the heads of the valleys for some time.


Coping with Growth

The conclusions of the capacity analysis to 2030 were highlighted in the previous section. There are a number of key issues for the Strategy to take forward:


By 2020 there is a requirement to replace the life expired Class 14x (pacer) rolling stock and capacity analysis suggested that there would be advantages in securing 3-car sets to provide increased capacity and operating flexibility to cope with longer term growth. This has now been proposed through the Valley Lines electrification.

• Diesel stock will become scarce as the current build of Class 172’s for London Midlands is likely to be the last diesel stock in the UK. Electrification of the Valley Lines could release some diesel stock to strength non-electric services and could be retained for other initiatives in the region.


Incremental timetable improvements – The following extensions of the hours / days of operation of services have positive business cases and will be sought through negotiation with Arriva Trains Wales and the Welsh Government. If not secured earlier, they will form part of a list of requirements that Sewta will put forward for consideration in the specification for the replacement Wales and Borders franchise in 2018.

• Chepstow Line Sunday Services.

• Maesteg Line Sunday services.

• Coryton Line Sunday Services.

• Improved Sunday Services – Rhymney Line.

• Improved Sunday Services – Treherbert Line.

• Improved Sunday Services – Merthyr Tydfil Line.

• Improved Sunday Services – Aberdare Line.

• Improved Evening Services – Rhymney Line.

• Improved Early weekday services – Merthyr Tydfil Line.


Network Capacity / Operations Review

It is notable that the single line sections at the extremities of the Valley lines routes are effectively 100% utilised in most cases. The infrastructure here has been designed to deliver a service level of 2tph and there is no capacity available for any further services. The need for trains running as part of a 2tph service to pass twice per hour at Ystrad Rhondda, Mountain Ash and Merthyr Vale on the Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr routes also acts as a considerable constraint in timetable construction throughout the Valleys network onwards to Penarth, Barry Island, Radyr via the City Line and Bridgend.



The electrification of the Valleys routes was announced by Welsh Government on 16th July 2012. The scheme will provide electrification of almost all routes in South East Wales, complementing the GWML scheme as follows:

Newport – Ebbw Vale Parkway

• Cardiff Central – Penarth / Barry Island and Bridgend via Aberthaw

• Cardiff Central – Coryton / Rhymney

• Cardiff Central – Treherbert / Aberdare / Merthyr via Cathays

• Cardiff Central – Radyr via Ninian Park

• Cardiff Central – Maesteg via Pencoed

• Cardiff Queen St – Cardiff Bay


D8 Trecynon New Station


A proposal for extending the Cynon Valley line from Aberdare to Hirwaun is being developed currently. In association with those studies there is a further proposal to evaluate the case for a station serving Trecynon, approximately one mile north of Aberdare.

The proposed site of the station is where the railway crosses the B4276. Llwydcoed Road. At this location the railway comprises a single line on a double track formation carried generally on an embankment and the alignment appears to be straight. The road leaves the junction with the A4059 on the south west side of the railway to pass under it and bend sharply to the left climbing above the level of the railway. Between the road and the railway at the north east side there is a derelict industrial site with direct access to Llwydcoed Road. Sewta Rail Strategy Final Report March 2013.doc

It is proposed that the station is located on the north east side of the railway on part of the former industrial site. The 45m long platform would have direct DDA compliant access from the adjacent car parking area by ramp. The platform would have a minimum width of 2.5m increased adjacent to the platform access and waiting shelter.

Due to the potential available area of the site there appear to be no problems in providing car parking for a minimum of 50 cars subject to any other development proposals for the site. The access to the site from Llwydcoed Road will need to be considered as the junction would be located close to a bend in the road where sightlines could be restricted.

The availability of the site will be dependent on any redevelopment proposals and the access from Llwydcoed Road will need to be developed. Consideration should be given as to whether an Order under the T&WA is required or whether the works can be undertaken under normal planning procedures.

The estimated capital costs for the new station are £0.90m with and additional £70k for TWA, land and compensation.


Interesting a report from January 2006

The existing Sewta Rail Improvement Programme covers the period from 2005 to 2010 and includes a number of significant investments and improvements to the rail network and services. A number of commitments are in the course of delivery: