THE increasing popularity of the Ebbw Valley Line means that from today, the busiest services will have double the passenger capacity.

Arriva Trains Wales will now put four carriages on the route instead of two, giving an additional 140 seats every weekday morning and evening.

These bigger trains will be in operation for the 7.40am journey from Ebbw Vale Parkway to Cardiff Central and the 5.35pm return and will be funded through Arriva Trains and the Welsh Government.

The train company’s managing director, Ian Bullock, said: “The Ebbw Vale line has seen growth in passenger journeys of 31per cent since the line reopened and we expect this growth to continue as rail services support the sustainable development of these important communities.”

The Ebbw Valley Line was closed in 1962, but was re-opened in February 2008 following the long-running Back on Track Argus campaign.

We reported last August how 770,602 people had used the line’s stations at Rogerstone, Risca, Pontymister, Cross Keys, Newbridge, Llanhilleth and Ebbw Vale in the past year – a 53,336 increase on the year before.

Transport minister Carl Sargeant said: “The growth in demand for this service has outstripped all expectations and it demonstrates just how worthwhile the investment has been. It is bringing economic and social benefits to many people by helping to provide access to work and leisure opportunities all along the route.”