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Traws Link Cymru - threat to the Gwili?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Felix Holt, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    A debate in the Welsh Assembly today on the proposals of Traws Link Cymru will be of interest to Gwili supporters. Their proposals to reinstate the Carmarthen - Aberystwyth line (see: http://www.trawslinkcymru.org.uk/) suspiciously does not mention the Gwili at all, but does talk about using the previous trackbed.
    Might it be time for Gwili officers to contact this campaign to find out whether they are proposing that the Welsh Assembly Government seizes the property of an independent heritage railway...?
     
  2. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    They are probably best staying out of it, at least until there's some reason to think it might actually happen.

    Chrus
     
  3. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Well-Known Member

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    Traws Link Cymru are suggesting that the cost of reinstating Carmarthen to Aberystwyth will be £700 million. With another £340 million to reinstate Afon Wen to Bangor. That only covers the infrastructure, TLC give no figures for running costs, such as leasing rolling stock, or the subsidies that would inevitably be required.

    The only way that this project will ever happen is if the scenario depicted in the gatefold cover of this 1972 album by the famous Welsh band Man were to come to pass: - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Be_Good_to_Yourself_at_Least_Once_a_Day

    I rather think that the Gwili Railway has nothing to worry about.
     
  4. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Frankly, I would love to see Carmarthen to Aberystwyth opened as a through route; with accommodation being made with the Gwili Railway - perhaps being given the route of another branch line with enough compensation to get then track relaid. Maybe "Change at Lampeter for Aberaeiron" again. But, short of a bank director and a Premiership football star funding this project, let's stop dreaming and come back to earth! The Gwili is doing a great job and I am sure that it will continue to do so.
     
  5. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    With out wishing to seem cruel as I know one or two of the people promoting the idea, it is a dream at best! Why waste all that money when that area is better served by a bus services which can be altered and changed to accommodate the rural population as it changes over the next few decades rather than fixed infrastructure like a railway.

    If we have big pots of cash surely they are better used to enhance what remains of the Welsh Railway network. It is worth noting that on the Heart of Wales line the average speed is 30mph and the journey takes 4 hrs (from end to end) if you could increase the average to 60mph and slash the journey time in half you suddenly have a viable route to places like Shrewbury, Birmingham, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthen. Same goes for the Cambrian I'm sure there is scope to increase line speeds and the quality of the service offered.

    That my thought anyway.....
     
  6. Neil_Scott

    Neil_Scott Member

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    Makes HS2 look a bargain.
     
  7. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    I believe that the thinking is to be able to link North and South Wales by rail without going into England.
     
  8. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    I know Plaid are obsessed with the imaginary boarder between England and Wales. If you want a North to South route that doesn't cross the boarder your best bet is to rebuild the mid wales line. This would give you another benfit of linking Heart of Wales to the Cambrian lines.
     
  9. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Nice idea, but then the Brecon Mountains Railway people may not be overjoyed.
     
  10. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Unravelling our LRO could be interesting.....

    This idea always appears periodically, it might have more chance of happening if the WAG becomes more independent of Westminster, most constituencies the route passes through are Plaid. The major problem is finding the cash to do it. In the meantime I'll maintain that there is just a good an economic benefit to Carmarthenshire if we were to open our proposed 8 miles. How about resurrecting Aber to Lampeter first?
     
  11. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    A 60mph average would only be possible with a total rebuild and missing out all station stops. Not much point in that, but a removal of some of the drastically low speed limits associated with the signalling and level crossings would help.
     
  12. domeyhead

    domeyhead New Member

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    I agree with others that this is not going to happen, but I am still amazed that any rail enthusiast would be alarmed at the prospect of the revival of a "real" railway. I remember a similar phenomenon with the Spa Valley Railway when the Lewes-Uckfield reopening advocated a diversionary route to London by also reopening Eridge to Tunbridge WElls. The goons who impacably opposed the scheme even to the extent of actively opposing the Lewes Uckfield section made me realise that someheritage rail people are not actually "pro rail" at all.
     
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  13. Insider

    Insider New Member

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    £700m? etc the WAG surely should support Network Rail's "wish list" of reopening lines in the valleys. Bedlinog, Cwm etc where the population is, and not rural West Wales which can't even support Arriva busses. The usual knock-on effect of electrification will see these valleys without a passenger service become serious contenders for reopening unlike rural Wales which is now car-dependant.
     
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  14. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, places such as Tredegar are among the biggest towns without a railway. And would it be totally impossible to rebuild the line from Treherbert throgh Cymmer Afan to Maesteg? South Wales was hit badly by the closures in the 60s despite a large population. In an economically depressed area, car ownership may not be that high, even these days.
     
  15. jma1009

    jma1009 Well-Known Member

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    the south wales 'Valley Lines' network is quite an intensive service and benefits from being independant of the mainline services (apart from the Ebbw vale line and Maesteg line). re Insider's post, Bedlinog is but a rural village, and Cwm is on the Ebbw Vale line, and a new station is proposed. often quoted is Nelson on the same freight line to cwmbargoed as bedlinog, but is but 5 min from abercynon station and ystrad mynach station. re-opening the cwmbragoed line to passengers would cause enormous problems on the Rhymney line which already has a 15min service as far as Bargoed.

    the welsh assembly do have a history for pie in the sky schemes and expensive new services eg the Holyhead Buffet service arguably just for assembly members from that area at some considerable cost per head and of no benefit for the ordinary passenger! the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth route was always a rural backwater and a very obvious candidate for closure in the 1960s.

    cheers,
    julian
     
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  16. Insider

    Insider New Member

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    Cwm, I'm thinking of the branch from Llantrisant to Beddau Coaking plant.
    Wished for was Abertillery and of course Aberdaere to Hirwaun and the extension to the Vale of Neath and Swansea
    there were loads more
    I cant find the document but it would class Network Rail as dreamers. But then it wasn't long ago that electrification wasn't even on the cards
    Bedlinog maybe a nothing village but still in a commuter belt to Cardiff
     
  17. frazoulaswak

    frazoulaswak Well-Known Member

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    I'd love to see the Pontyclun to Beddau branch reopened as it's just down the road from where I live, but there are some major reasons why I think it is now very unlikely to happen. For a start, the junction with the mainline immediately to the west of Pontyclun (formerly Llantrisant) station would have to be reinstated, with all of the associated signalling. Much of the (good quality flat bottomed) track that was in situ has been removed within the last three years - considering that the branch was on the SEWTA wish list, this development was rather surprising. The station site at Cross Inn is now a garage. Perhaps the biggest barrier to reopening is the level crossing over the very busy (and likely to be much busier if a planned shopping development gets the go-ahead) A473 Talbot Green bypass.
    Ultimately, much will depend on whether or not the WAG is given tax raising and borrowing powers and/or manages to replace Arriva Trains Wales with a not-for-profit operator when the Wales and Borders franchise is up for renewal in 2018.
    Cheers,
     
  18. b.oldford

    b.oldford New Member

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    Won't the same posters be making much the same comments about the Lavender Line should BML2 eventually get the go-ahead?

    Fact - Any heritage railway on a route that could conceivably be reopened might be under a similar threat. A harsh fact we must learn to live with.
     
  19. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    A reply I received directly from Traws Link Cymru notes their admiration for the Gwili, and their view that a better route out of Carmarthen would be needed that would in fact by-pass the Gwili Railway.

    I do agree with earlier posts that we shouldn't oppose reinstatement of lines just because this might impact a heritage railway. However, as pointed out in this thread, a north-south line using the west coast does not make economic sense. It would be much better to run a north-south line (which I favour) from the heavily populated south-east to the heavily populated north-east. This could follow at least part of the original route (and if that means the Brecon Mountain Railway has to go, then so be it) with some new formation at places to make a more rational route.
    Of course, unless WAG get tax raising powers, none of this will happen (and even if they do, it may well not happen!!).
     
  20. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, it could run from Newport to Abergavenny, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Wrexham, Chester. :)
     
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