More Stations

It was good to see that the disused railway station at Wdig has been rebuilt. There are many people who can rightly take credit for this, but undoubtedly the main factor was the decision to increase the train service from just two trains a day timed to link with the ferry service to seven trains a day in each direction, which enabled the service to be used for by local people for commuting or shopping too.



Ben Davies of Arriva Trains Wales was excited and asked where else in the world a new station was being opened today. But in fact there are several more in various stages of planning that I can think of:

•  Energlyn in Caerffili is advanced enough for Network Rail to have produced a video of it.

•  Holywell/Greenfield, Queensferry and Broughton on Deeside are mentioned in this document from Network Rail.

•  Bow Street and Carno on the Cambria line to Aberystwyth when an hourly service is introduced, see this document.

•  In the SEWTA (south east Wales) area, this document mentions new stations at Brackla, Crymlyn, Pye Corner, Hirwaun, Trecynon, Albany Road/Crwys Road in Cardiff, Upper Boat, St Mellons, Coedkernow, Caerleon, Llanwern and Sain Ffagan.

Not all of these will come to fruition, but many of them have positive benefit-to-cost ratios, with some of them rated as good (i.e. a BCR of more than 2:1) particularly if the service frequency can be enhanced.

So yes, let's celebrate the opening of one new station ... but it's a celebration that we could repeat many times over in the next few years if we have the foresight and political will to press ahead with these plans. It's exactly the sort of capital investment we need.

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Dewi Harries said...

Not really sure Energlyn is a great idea - close to other stations. Valleys electrification and speed improvement is the big prize.

Dewi Harries said...

And 7 trains a day from Wdig....Logic and priority not perhaps coherent.

MH said...

I don't agree with you about Energlyn, Dewi. Caerffili and Aber stations are less than a kilometre apart, but there's over 3km between Aber and Llanbradach. It's a fairly densely populated area with plenty of commuter traffic potential to Cardiff, so it seems like a good location to me.

If the BCR ratio for any scheme is favourable, then going ahead with it won't prejudice any of the other schemes. They'll each pay for themselves in due course, so it's not a question of taking money from one scheme in order to build another.

I'd agree that electrification of the Valleys Lines is a big prize, but building a station at Energlyn isn't going to adversely affect whether it happens or not. In fact it will probably have a positive effect.


As for your second point, the cost equation for running trains is different from whether to build a station on an existing line because nearly all train services are subsidized. Therefore you could argue that the money could be better be spent elsewhere.

But that rail line already exists, and to me it seemed ridiculous to only have two trains a day running on it ... especially at times which were of very little use to local people. Let's see to what degree people use the service. But as I noted here, the actual use of new rail services has tended to be far in excess of what the formulas used to calculate it had predicted.

Anonymous said...

please build a station at St Mellons! The area is desperate for this!

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