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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In a few hours we will hear the news that Welsh railways are finally going to join the 21st century with the plan to electrify the GWR main line to Swansea as well as the Cardiff Valley network. :banana:

We dont yet know the timetable; whether this will be linked to devolution of railway infrastructure; whether it will include Ebbw Valley, Vale of Glamorgan or Maesteg lines; or whether this will be launched as Cardiff Metro....

But it is one huge step forward from the embarrisngly antiquated rolling stock that is currently used on these lines:eek:hno:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
This plan will electrify around 25% of the Welsh railway network in terms of km but in terms of passenger journeys this is probably nearer 75%. Considering that Wales currently shares the dubious distnction of being 1 of only 2 countries in Europe without any electrified rail (the other one being Albania) this is a massive step forward.
 

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Great news for Wales - this network is just the sort which will benefit from the wires: lots of stops, hilly, frequent but short trains - i.e. lots of fuel.

Hopefully the nicer trains and quicker journeys, both to Cardiff and on to London, will stimulate the region.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I was pleasantly surprised to see that as well as the 'Core' Cardiff Valleys network, electrification will also include the Ebbw Valley line, Maesteg line & Vale of Glamorgan line. There is very little left to electrify in South Wales!!!

In your face Albania!!!:lol:
 

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I wonder about the Ebbw - Newport trains situation which is a bit stupid.

In terms of stock, there will probably now need to be a diesel subfleet based at Swansea serving the lines west of there and the HoW...although the Manchester trains currently mop these up (which I think is wasteful).
 

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Is there much demand for longer trains at the moment? I took the train from Cardiff Queen Street to the Bay and it was dead. Queen Street didn't seem to busy either, though one could argue that an improvement in services and better branding can make a huge difference to passenger figures.

The line to the bay however needs the following IMHO: Conversion to Tram, a stop on in between Bay and Queen Street, onward connections into the City Centre, possibly diverging north of QS and up past the Civic Centre, down to Central and along to the western Suburbs.
 

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This plan will electrify around 25% of the Welsh railway network in terms of km but in terms of passenger journeys this is probably nearer 75%. Considering that Wales currently shares the dubious distnction of being 1 of only 2 countries in Europe without any electrified rail (the other one being Albania) this is a massive step forward.
:lol:
Never heard that before. Wonderfully odd fact. Especially considering the terrain of Wales rather does put one in mind of Albania.


Wonder why they're putting such concentration on Wales.
Wish that map of lines to be electrified showed the currently electrified ones too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The map you seek is here

As to why Wales - I think they have been pushed into a corner they could no longer get out of. If they didnt invest in Wales they would be forced to devolve rail infrastructure which would cost them a lot more.....5% of UK rail spending not the 2% we currently get.
 

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It's a little bit like the suburban lines out of Wellington, NZ. The three rail lines all follow valleys with dinky EMUs and are very well used due to the valley formations making them and the one road the only ways to access each spine.

I guess the Valleys have to resign themselves to being largely commuter towns now too.
 

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The map you seek is here

As to why Wales - I think they have been pushed into a corner they could no longer get out of. If they didnt invest in Wales they would be forced to devolve rail infrastructure which would cost them a lot more.....5% of UK rail spending not the 2% we currently get.
I imagine there might be the odd marginal parliamentary seat in these areas as well . . .

Good news no matter what the reason/political calculation
 

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This is really good news for South Wales!

I think There is only one - vale of Glamorgan!
A few more than one!
In 2010 the very close seats were:
Vale of Glamorgan - Tory/Labour
Cardiff North - Tory/Labour
Cardiff Central - Lib Dem/Labour
Swansea West - Lib Dem/Labour
Gower - Tory/Labour
Newport East - Lib Dem/Labour
Newport West - Tory/Labour

Even seats like Pontypridd, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff West are nothing like as safe as they were, even when compared to just a decade ago.

Though I think its pretty clear that Labour will hold all the seats they have now, and maybe more in 2015. The ConDem gov could have invested billions and billions in Wales and I doubt it would make much difference
 

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No mention has been made of one electrification scheme that has been on the cards for a long time - from Bidston in Wirral to Wrexham. This would connect trains from Wrexham directly into the Merseyrail commuter network and allow services into central Liverpool. I believe that the latest thinking is that the electrification will be on the 25kV overhead system with dual voltage trainsets used to run onto the 750v third rail Merseyrail network.

I think that we will have to wait for the Cardiff rail services to be electrified before attention turns to North Wales. The problem has always been that North Wales is far more affiliated historically and geographically to Liverpool, Chester and even Manchester than it is to Cardiff and this probably gets reflected in the prioritisation of these projects.
 

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Electrification of the GWML and the Valley Lines is a UK government investment. The decision was made by Westminster not Cardiff Bay. Rail is not devolved to the Welsh Assembly.

Rail projects have in the past been funded by the WG out of it's block grant - notably the re-opening of the Vale of Glamorgan and Ebbw Vale lines - but it isn't feasible or affordable for the WG to continue to fund improvements especially as the block grant has reduced. It's akin to the English LA in which Bidston is located (Wirral?) funding the electrification from its own funds.

If rail was devolved - and funding was on the same basis as the Barnett formula (ie population rather than needs based) - then rail expenditure in Wales would be approximately 5% of the total expenditure rather than the current 2%.

I'm also not sure that south Wales gets prioritised over north Wales either. This is a common complaint but it would be interesting to see what the spend per head of population is on those areas devolved to Wales such as health, the economy, transport, culture (excluding rail) in order to substantiate whether this complaint has any basis in truth.
 

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There is one other European country as well as Albania with no electrified rail, Moldova.

This is great news for Cardiff which is already progressing nicely and hopefully it can kickstart a bit of regeneration in the Valleys too.
 
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