Friday 10 Jun 2005

HISTORIC DAY FOR RAIL PASSENGERS IN WALES

Region & Route:
| Wales & Western: Wales & Borders
| Wales & Western
Passenger services return to the Vale of Glamorgan this weekend for the first time in over 40 years. The Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Economic Development and Transport, Andrew Davies, will officially celebrate the opening of the line on Friday 10 June, with a commemorative launch at Bridgend, followed by official opening ceremonies at Llantwit Major station and Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station. With the completion of this £17m Assembly Government funded project, direct train services will run from the Vale of Glamorgan to Cardiff and Bridgend, opening up the area to the rail network for the first time since the line was closed to passenger trains in 1964. In addition to the construction of new stations at Llantwit Major and Rhoose, a new dedicated platform has been built at Bridgend station. The line also provides an important rail link to Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station, which is connected directly to the airport terminal via a short shuttle bus journey. This link makes the airport easily accessible from anywhere on the UK rail network. Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport said: ‘This is a historic day for transport in Wales, and a historic day for the people of Wales. The restoration of passenger services to the Vale of Glamorgan after 40 years represents a major milestone in the delivery of an efficient and integrated transport infrastructure for Wales. “As well as providing substantial benefits for public transport users, this new service sends a further clear message that the Assembly Government is committed to investing in the future of transport in Wales.” Graeme Bunker, Managing Director of Arriva Trains Wales, said: "It’s great news both for the local community, who now have their own dedicated rail service, and also for anyone travelling to the airport for business or pleasure. The re-opening of the line has been a major project, and I applaud the hard work and dedication of all the partners." Robbie Burns, Network Rail's Western Route Director, said: "It is a great achievement to be here today - a year ago we were still talking about this project and here we are preparing to re-open the line to passenger traffic for the first scheduled train on Sunday. "When we started talking about this project there was a real ‘can do' attitude amongst all the key players and this has been one of the big successes for Network Rail - the fact that together we can deliver such a major scheme, on time and on budget." Councillor Tom Williams, Chair of Sewta: "We are experiencing considerable growth in the use of rail services and the re-opening of the Vale of Glamorgan railway line for passenger use is the first of a number of key improvements we will see over the next 12 months that are needed to offer people a practical alternative to the car. “The re-opening today of the Vale of Glamorgan line means a good start has been made and Sewta is committed to work with the Welsh Assembly Government and our industry partners to continue to deliver real enhancements to transport infrastructure and to the quality of journeys in South East Wales.” Jim Steer, Managing Director, Strategic Planning, at the Strategic Rail Authority said: “The SRA has fully supported the Vale of Glamorgan scheme from the outset. The importance of the new service is that it widens Cardiff’s rail commuter catchment and creates a good rail access to Wales International Airport at Rhoose from the west via Bridgend as well as from Cardiff.”

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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.

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