Ebbw Vale line: More services and station improvements as multi-million-pound upgrade begins: Ebbw Vale Line investment - Llanhilleth station

Thursday 24 Feb 2022

Ebbw Vale line: More services and station improvements as multi-million-pound upgrade begins

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western

Passengers along the Ebbw Vale line will benefit from more rail services in the future as Network Rail starts work to transform the line between Newport and Ebbw Vale.

Funded by Blaenau Gwent Council, supported by a loan from the Welsh Government, the £70m investment includes laying new track which will allow a new hourly passenger service between Ebbw Vale Town and Newport. Brand new platforms will also be installed at Llanhilleth and Newbridge - making the stations fully accessible for the first time.

A £17m signalling upgrade - funded by Network Rail via the Department for Transport - will be delivered at the southern end of the line and a state-of-the-art signalling system will be installed and controlled from the Wales Route Operating Centre in Cardiff. 

Engineers have already started managing vegetation alongside 13-miles of the Ebbw Vale line. Materials are also being dropped off ahead of the work starting in April.

Between 15 and 18 April, Network Rail teams will be working around the clock to carry out a major track upgrade in the Llanhilleth area. A rail replacement service will be in operation for passengers who are advised to check before travelling at www.journeycheck.com/tfwrail/    

Network Rail is setting-up site compounds at various locations alongside the railway, which will be used to access the track over the course of the project - expected to take approximately 18 months.

Bill Kelly, Wales & Borders route director at Network Rail said: “Working with Transport for Wales and all of our partners, we’re delighted this work is now beginning on the Ebbw Vale line to enable more trains to run in the future.

“A more frequent service will mean passengers between Ebbw Vale Town and Crosskeys will be able to access more jobs, training, and leisure opportunities.

“We know that there will be some disruption for local communities and passengers and we’re grateful for their support and patience as we deliver this important upgrade.”

James Price, Transport for Wales Chief Executive, said: “This substantial investment from the Welsh Government will bring significant benefits for people living in Ebbw Vale and the surrounding communities.

“Transport for Wales will be able to run additional services, and more frequent services, when the work is complete as part of our wider programme to transform the Wales and Borders network.

“While the work is taking place we advise passengers to check our new website, our recently-updated app or the TfW social media channels for the latest travel information.”

Councillor Dai Davies, Executive Member for Regeneration, Blaenau Gwent Council said: “We are fully supportive of this project. Any additional rail link, and an increase in the frequency and reliability of train services is great news for the future economic prosperity of Blaenau Gwent.

“It will help to connect people and communities with employment; training and social opportunities. This is just part of improvements that need to be made to public transport and the aim for an integrated service for all.”

Councillor Jamie Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Property, Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “We welcome this major investment and improvements to the rail infrastructure and will work with our partners to provide a better railway service for passengers in Caerphilly County Borough and the wider region.

“I’m delighted to see improvements planned at Newbridge and Cross Keys. These improvements will help to support our Lower Ebbw and Sirhowy Valleys Masterplan which sets out the future development and regeneration opportunities to promote communities, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for residents.”

Cllr Roger Jeavons, deputy leader and cabinet member for city services, Newport City Council, said: “Having more capacity for trains on the Ebbw Vale gives residents more sustainable travel choices. Along with the work to improve travel corridors to and from the east and west of the city, it will also connect Newport more closely with our neighbouring communities.

“Both of these bring benefits for residents and businesses alike, and that’s why we’re pleased to be working alongside our partners on this important project.”  

Notes to Editors

Header image: View of second track at Llanhilleth station on which extra services will run

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Kathy Peart
Media relations manager
Network Rail

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