Abertillery rail link could cost £16.7m, says South East Wales Transport Alliance

First published in Gwent news South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A SCHEME to expand the Ebbw Valley train line on to a new spur to Abertillery could cost £16.7 million to build.

A report to the South East Wales Transport Alliance (SEWTA) also says the proposed extension to Ebbw Vale Town could be a "quick win" for the railway line.

Blaenau Gwent's AM Alun Davies has also claimed he is in talks with the Welsh Government and Blaenau Gwent to bring the Ebbw Vale extension to fruition.

An Ebbw Valley Railway update to SEWTA, which met on Friday, said that the estimated cost to build a service to Abertillery is £16.7 million.

Part of the existing track bed is used as a cycleway, but has enough space available for the provision of a single rail track.

The track bed itself is already owned by Blaenau Gwent council, while the station location in Abertillery would be a former Co-op store site.

However transport minister Carl Sargeant recently said the spur to Abertillery was not a priority for the next three years.

Meanwhile the Ebbw Vale Town Extension, where a station would be built at next to the grade II listed former British Steel General Office, has the possibility to be a "quick win", the update says, as the alignment in place and owned by the council.

Alun Davies, Blaenau Gwent AM, said the extension should be a priority.

"I'm currently in talks with Welsh Government and Blaenau Gwent to resolve issues to make sure that can happen and happen as soon as possible," he said.

A Welsh Government spokesman confirmed that the AM had met the minister to discuss the matter.

* Electrifying the Ebbw Vale line could boost demand and reduce its operating costs.

The SEWTA report said proposals by the UK Government to electrify the Ebbw Valley line could further improve the business case for a link to Newport.

It said forecast demand could rise by four to five per cent while operating costs could fall by 30 per cent.

The Argus has campaigned for a Newport passenger link to Ebbw Vale for more than a decade.

Building a station at Pye Corner in Newport could be cheaper than previously thought as well, after a value engineering exercise bringing down estimated costs from £5.7 million to £2.8 million.

Comments (3)

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5:24pm Sun 30 Sep 12

Owain Vaughan says...

Here's a quick win: Run the trains on the ALREADY EXISTING line from Park Junction to Gaer Junction and thence into Newport High Street. Amount of track needing to be laid: ZERO. This should be the priority.
Here's a quick win: Run the trains on the ALREADY EXISTING line from Park Junction to Gaer Junction and thence into Newport High Street. Amount of track needing to be laid: ZERO. This should be the priority. Owain Vaughan
  • Score: 0

2:39pm Mon 1 Oct 12

Dugstar says...

Could not agree more Owain. I do remember reading somewhere that the trains would be running into Newport by 2012. They will be lucky the way they are going to have it running before 2020.
Could not agree more Owain. I do remember reading somewhere that the trains would be running into Newport by 2012. They will be lucky the way they are going to have it running before 2020. Dugstar
  • Score: 0

11:20am Tue 2 Oct 12

Matt-T says...

The GRIP 3 report states the Newport branch openinging in 2014. The trains should run from Ebbw Vale to Bristol Parkway. I cannot see a big enough demand just for Newport, however fantastic it would be to see the additional trains on our railway.
The GRIP 3 report states the Newport branch openinging in 2014. The trains should run from Ebbw Vale to Bristol Parkway. I cannot see a big enough demand just for Newport, however fantastic it would be to see the additional trains on our railway. Matt-T
  • Score: 0

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