Monday 13 Nov 2017
Conwy Valley line reopens following recent storm damage
The Conwy Valley line reopened to passengers today, Monday 13 November, after Network Rail engineers carried out extensive repairs following recent storm damage.
The line closed on Friday 20 October following damage reported in the Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel, the longest of its kind in the UK. This October saw more than average rain fall in Blaenau Ffestiniog, causing more water to enter the tunnel than usual and damaging a structural pillar inside.
Due to the extremely hard rock, natural features and natural water courses through the tunnel walls, Network Rail tunnel and mining specialists were drafted in for the repair work.
Network Rail engineers and contract partners AMCO installed scaffolding within the tunnel to hold an estimated 28 tonnes of rock whilst the damaged pillar was dismantled and rebuilt.
Essential repair work was also necessary on other parts of the line, near Glan Conwy and the Bertheos and Roman Bridge Tunnels.
Chris Howchin, route programme manager for Network Rail in Wales and the Borders, said: “Our engineers worked 24/7 to repair the Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel after damage caused by recent storms.
“The Conwy Valley line is a vital link for local people and important for economic growth in the area, so we worked hard to reopen the railway as soon as it was safe to do so.
“We worked closely with Arriva Trains Wales to keep passengers moving with rail replacement buses during the closure, and I would like to thank passengers for their patience while this essential repair work took place.”
Lynne Milligan, Customer Services Director for Arriva Trains Wales added: “We are delighted that the line is now reopening for our customers and we thank them for their patience.
“Ultimately passenger safety is our first consideration so it was essential that these repairs be carried out.
“We have worked closely with our partners in Network Rail to ensure disruption to customers is kept to a minimum.”
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.6 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.