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
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.