Blaenau Gwent rail improvements by 2016

Economy Minister Edwina Hart at the launch of the affordable housing scheme at the former Whiteheads steel site in Newport (8315963)

Economy Minister Edwina Hart at the launch of the affordable housing scheme at the former Whiteheads steel site in Newport (8315963)

First published in News by

COMMUTERS in Blaenau Gwent could see an improved rail service thanks to a passing loop which is due to be completed in 2016.

The Welsh Government have confirmed the Cross Keys to Aberbeeg passing loop is expected to be finished by March 2016. Edwina Hart, the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, said the Ebbw Vale town centre extension should also be finished by Spring 2015, in a letter to Nick Smith MP for Blaenau Gwent.

She said: “I would expect additional services on this route to be considered in the specification of the next Wales and Borders franchise."

Mr Smith who has been campaigning for improvements for the Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line for several years has welcomed the news saying it was another building block to making Blaenau Gwent attractive for businesses and commuters alike.

He said: “A glance around the country shows time and time again that if a town has a train service that gets people to jobs quickly and regularly, it gets a massive economic boost. I want that for Blaenau Gwent.

"The Ebbw Vale to Cardiff line has exceeded all expectations and it deserves to be built upon.

He added: “An improved service means it becomes more relevant for even more commuters, and that means opportunities for our youngsters to get to the jobs they need. That’s why I will continue to campaign for a half-hourly service on the line while we have the chance.”

Mr Smith has run the Move on Up campaign in recent years, surveying commuters on what they want from the service and then taking those results to the Welsh Government to help inform the choices they make.

He said: “The A465 improvements mean businesses can seriously consider this borough as their base, and a better train service just adds to that cause.

“There is still a debate going on between the Welsh Government and Parliament about funding for electrification, and I will continue to add my voice to all those clamouring for this situation to be solved so the entire Valleys line gets this important upgrade."

Last year Transport Minister Edwina Hart had agreed an allocation of £62 million in funding for 2013 to 2016 to be allocated for phase 1 of the South East Wales Metro plan to upgrade the public transport network and it was understood that the Ebbw Valley line improvements would be part of this project.

Comments (11)

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6:22pm Sun 24 Aug 14

john.hall1000 says...

Why wasn't it done before the line reopened in 2008?.
Why wasn't it done before the line reopened in 2008?. john.hall1000
  • Score: 7

9:25pm Sun 24 Aug 14

jerymp says...

They just can't see beond the next election
They just can't see beond the next election jerymp
  • Score: 3

10:08pm Sun 24 Aug 14

exrisca says...

Does this mean double track from the Welsh Oak to Aberbeeg, or is there a mistake and it is a passing loop at Llanhilleth as said some time ago?
Does this mean double track from the Welsh Oak to Aberbeeg, or is there a mistake and it is a passing loop at Llanhilleth as said some time ago? exrisca
  • Score: -1

9:53am Mon 25 Aug 14

rlewis says...

The most important improvement to this line needs to be more carriages on the trains. The service is persistently run with just two carriages, which are packed by the time they are just half way down the valley. It makes me laugh when I see the Pye Corner station under construction. Who's going to get on a two carriage train there ?? Climb up on the roof maybe ?
The most important improvement to this line needs to be more carriages on the trains. The service is persistently run with just two carriages, which are packed by the time they are just half way down the valley. It makes me laugh when I see the Pye Corner station under construction. Who's going to get on a two carriage train there ?? Climb up on the roof maybe ? rlewis
  • Score: 4

10:45am Mon 25 Aug 14

jonesyofgwent says...

They need to be running a line from Ebbw Vale in to Newport Central along with a line coming from Abeerbeeg in to Abertillery and beyond
They need to be running a line from Ebbw Vale in to Newport Central along with a line coming from Abeerbeeg in to Abertillery and beyond jonesyofgwent
  • Score: 7

12:13pm Mon 25 Aug 14

signal box says...

About time the Ebbw Vale Branch was brought up to date and will trains ever run into Newport lets see if the Minister will answer that that.
About time the Ebbw Vale Branch was brought up to date and will trains ever run into Newport lets see if the Minister will answer that that. signal box
  • Score: 5

3:45pm Mon 25 Aug 14

Raymond Luxury-Yacht says...

The axles creak, and the couplings strain.
Who is in charge of the clattering train?
The axles creak, and the couplings strain. Who is in charge of the clattering train? Raymond Luxury-Yacht
  • Score: 1

4:21pm Mon 25 Aug 14

gmc says...

signal box wrote:
About time the Ebbw Vale Branch was brought up to date and will trains ever run into Newport lets see if the Minister will answer that that.
Yes, given that Ms Hart appears to be dressed as a giraffe, could she not stick her neck out and give us a date for the Ebbw Vale - Newport link?
[quote][p][bold]signal box[/bold] wrote: About time the Ebbw Vale Branch was brought up to date and will trains ever run into Newport lets see if the Minister will answer that that.[/p][/quote]Yes, given that Ms Hart appears to be dressed as a giraffe, could she not stick her neck out and give us a date for the Ebbw Vale - Newport link? gmc
  • Score: 5

5:07pm Mon 25 Aug 14

john.hall1000 says...

Why use a picture of her that has nothing to do with trains going to Ebbw Vale?. On the picture she's promoting affordable houses in Newport.
Why use a picture of her that has nothing to do with trains going to Ebbw Vale?. On the picture she's promoting affordable houses in Newport. john.hall1000
  • Score: 0

7:43pm Mon 25 Aug 14

blackandamber says...

Can anybody enlighten me what the definition of affordable housing is.
Can anybody enlighten me what the definition of affordable housing is. blackandamber
  • Score: -3

9:22am Tue 26 Aug 14

blackandamber says...

Well I notice that I have three thumbs down, but no answer to my question.
Well I notice that I have three thumbs down, but no answer to my question. blackandamber
  • Score: -2

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