If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Traws Link Cymru - threat to the Gwili?

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

  1. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    15,161
    Likes Received:
    5,440
    Location:
    1012 / 60158
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I suspect that its more of a case of existence against fantasy?
     
    Christopher125 and paulhitch like this.
  2. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    3,290
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instrumentation, Control & Automation Engineer
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    A lot of it is steeply sloping bedrock with an embamkment for the railway and then the river on the other side! All the valley sides are steep, hence all the tight curves.

    It would be interesting to see how they would double one section on the Abergwili extension. Looking north, on the left side you have a 2 in 1 (yes, that is the right way round!) bedrock slope down to track level, then a 1 metre ditch, 4 metres of trackbed, 1 1/2 metres of 45 degree (down) embankment and finally a 3 metre vertical (ish) drop into the river! Perhaps they could fit a mezzanine level track? It would be easy to tell which was the 'up or 'down' lines then!
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    5,445
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Brighton&Hove
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Mention of TRAWS Link in Barrie Hughs' blog (including link to a regional newspaper report) is why I put this here, as there's - unusually - not a massive ammount on the WHR this time round.
    http://isengard.co.uk/#News

    Perhaps TRAWS will grow legs and warrant it's own thread, but I remain sceptical about it's value. The Bangor-Afon Wen section seems viable enough, given tourism in and around Snowdonia, less so the southern option where potential traffic from the intermediate catchment on the old Mid-Wales Rly (Newtown to Brecon) and onto the valleys network, far exceeds anything the southern link (Aberystwyth to Carmarthen) may offer. It puts a major Welsh town (Brecon) back on the network, there's way more potential for bulk freight and .... re-opening the Mid Wales line would put the best railway junction name ever back on the map!
    :Googleit:
     
    nanstallon and Copper-capped like this.
  4. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2005
    Messages:
    4,219
    Likes Received:
    2,150
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Westcountry
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I still remember the shock that I felt as an 11 year old when all the lines to Brecon were so ruthlessly closed in 1962 - even before the Beeching Report. Western region were very keen on closing lines.

    John
     
  5. *8A*

    *8A* New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Messages:
    182
    Likes Received:
    58
    Location:
    Aberystwyth
  6. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    1,678
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
  7. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,021
    Likes Received:
    1,795
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Taunton
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Well that study says lets close the Gwili steam railway down and use the trackbead to reopen the railway for commuter trains.
     
  8. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    1,678
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    Just had a more detailed read. It is certainly heavy going.

    Apart from the Gwili conclusions there are some serious caveats in the report. Closing the road bridge over the river Towy in Carmarthen is going to generate some serious opposition I think. The report also dodges the wider “social” argument for the line after concluding that the reinstatement isn’t economically viable. Some big concerns also regarding the reinstatement through Tregaron area and the SSI, seems to imply that it is a huge can of worms.

    I guess those that want to see it happen will cling to the statement that it is “technically feasible” though.

    Who knows what will happen next though, I guess very little will happen now until after March 2019 and we know where we are heading with Bexit.

    Regards

    Matt
     
    HY_4273 likes this.
  9. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    13,946
    Likes Received:
    11,125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    No, the study says that if you want a viable railway from Camarthen to Aberystwyth, your only half way viable route is over the Gwili trackbed. Having glanced through it, my conclusion is that it says that it will cost £775m to build a railway that will deliver, having dug very deep to find all possible sources of benefit, a mere £333m of economic value.

    The answer to whether it will be built, and what would happen to those in the way - including the Gwili railway - if it does progress, lie in the world of politics, not economics. I cannot see a reasonable case for this railway to be built at such vast cost, when it would clearly be of borderline economic value without that infrastructure investment. Reopening raises major issues for ecology, history, economics, tourism - everything.
     
  10. JayDee

    JayDee Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2017
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    272
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Swadlincote
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Per year? We know most studies do undershoot.

    Mind if the Welsh government wants to Chuck a few hundred million to the gwili...
     
  11. Forestpines

    Forestpines Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,681
    Likes Received:
    2,422
    Location:
    Bristol
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    The more interesting conclusion is, arguably, that it sets a precedent for the idea of main line and heritage railways sharing a route to be unfeasible.
     
    Sawdust, jnc, Greenway and 3 others like this.
  12. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    13,946
    Likes Received:
    11,125
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I only skimmed the report. I suspect the gap is over a number of years.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  13. garth manor

    garth manor Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    237
    Closing the Cambrian to Shrewsbury would free up subsidy and increase passenger numbers.
     
  14. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    3,290
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instrumentation, Control & Automation Engineer
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    That is heavy going. The main point I noted was the best case benefits gap (the gap between the economic costs and the benefits) is £442 million !

    No wonder the summing up says:-
    "Where the above demonstrates the absence of any realistic prospect of either improving the economic benefits of the scheme, or reducing its overall cost, it is readily apparent that the scheme does not present a positive economic case.
    As such the scheme is only likely to be progressed in regard to wider societal needs, and strategic aims, the consideration of which is beyond the scope of this study. Low local population levels (and levels of business, leisure, tourism activity, etc.) impose the key constraint on realistic demand levels, and thus achievable economic benefit."

    I think the dozen or so people who commute by bus from Lampeter to Carmarthen each weekday morning (So few I can count them as the bus passes my house :p) will still be using the bus for a long while yet. :)
     
  15. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,682
    Likes Received:
    2,130
    A report written by a realist!
     
  16. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    15,161
    Likes Received:
    5,440
    Location:
    1012 / 60158
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Presume that your tongue is firmly in cheek? :)
     
    b.oldford and HY_4273 like this.
  17. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Messages:
    1,305
    Likes Received:
    1,678
    Occupation:
    Solicitor
    Location:
    South Wales
    In the main I agree with this but there is a stark warning in the report about the Tregaron “bog” issue. This is the only technical issue that the report doesn’t definitively answer. It certainly implies that this could be a show stopper despite the political sound bites hailing the report as a “breakthrough”

    Regards

    Matt
     
  18. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    63
    I think its a great shame that this report doesn't seem likely to kill off this project. The whole thing is a folly which fails to take in to account the natural flows of people and money being East to West rather than North to South.

    Just imagine the benifits a fraction of that sum could do to improve journey times on the Cambrain and HOWL both of which would yield far more beinfits than the Carmarthen - Aber
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
    HY_4273, Matt78, nickt and 1 other person like this.
  19. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,361
    Likes Received:
    3,290
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Instrumentation, Control & Automation Engineer
    Location:
    East Sussex
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    PA140152.JPG There's a lot of talk of flooding and river scour in the report. Here's a picture from the weekend before last that might give you some idea of what can happen. Friday night this was a green valley with the river meandering through it. Saturday morning this was the scene:-

    The river is (normally!) in the tree line just behind the fence. The railway embankment has been removed here but the alignment is from left to right just on the camera side of the fence - where the lower sheep are grazing.
     
  20. garth manor

    garth manor Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,041
    Likes Received:
    237
    Aberystywth promotes its university which provides the major income source for the town internationally by its rail links with air travel through Birmingham with which it has direct rail access, it has a single change access to London through Wolverhampton or Birmingham, the latter has quicker access for shopping than travel to the inferior Cardiff would ever have, the only purpose for a S Wales rail link would be political, failing to accept that Mid Wales links to England not to S Wales, just as N Wales values its rail access to Manchester rather than any notion that Cardiff matters.
     

Share This Page