Thursday 17 Jul 2014
Network Rail plans exciting new vision for Cardiff Central
Network Rail is planning the biggest transformation of Cardiff Central station since it was first built in the 1850s.
The company is exploring options to deliver a major redevelopment of the station during its next five-year funding period, which starts in 2019. The plans could see an extension to the Grade II listed building to create a bigger, better and brighter station.
A major upgrade to the signalling technology in the Cardiff area is already underway and work has also started to electrify the line from Swansea to London. These programmes will help future-proof the railway by enabling faster, more frequent trains across the South Wales network.
But with passenger numbers forecast to grow significantly over the next decade and beyond, the station also needs to respond to the rising demand.
The remit for the initial design work has been to integrate the historic elements of the station into a new, modern building that better reflects passenger needs.
The plans will provide a bright, spacious concourse with improved connectivity to platforms as well as enhanced retail opportunities and additional places to eat and drink. The aspiration is for the station to offer both an improved experience for passengers and for it to be a destination in its own right serving the local community emerging around it.
Along with the changes to the passenger experience, the project will see a major redevelopment of the entire station site. The proposals envisage a new multi-deck car park, commercial developments on the existing south side and Saunders Road car parks and an enhanced transport interchange and public realm.
Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail in Wales, said: “The station area is a prime location for commercial development, as the BBC Wales headquarter announcement shows, and we are really excited by the site and the opportunities it will unlock to redevelop the station.
“This is a unique opportunity to create a new station environment that is a fitting entrance to the capital city of Wales. We're pleased to be working with the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council and industry partners, including Arriva Trains Wales, to enhance the city and the quality of transport in the region.
“Our plans will help deliver a vastly improved experience for the tens of thousands of passengers that use the station every day. It will be the focal point of the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone and will seamlessly blend our significant investment programme, including the re-signalling scheme and electrification, with other improvements to the local urban environment."
Ian Bullock, managing director for Arriva Trains Wales, said "We have seen a significant increase in passenger numbers using trains into Cardiff Central station and this is forecast to grow significantly in the future.
“We are excited by the plans being developed and look forward to working with all parties to ensure that the needs of passengers and staff are met. A particular aspect we look forward to developing with partners is for those using the station following special events in the city.
“The plans have the potential to make Cardiff Central a landmark station not only for Cardiff but the railway nationally.”
Notes to editors
Over 11.6 million people entered and exited Cardiff Central station in 2013 – an increase of over 100,000 on the previous year. Additionally there were 1.5 million interchanges at the station (ORR station usage data 2014).
Emerging findings from the Long Term Planning Process, led by Network Rail, suggest that commuting by rail into Cardiff could increase by up to 69% over the next decade. This work also shows that demand could rise by up to 145% by 2043. These findings will be updated on completion of the LTPP for Wales.
Network Rail is one of the largest land and property owners in the country and during the five-year period which ended on 31 March 2014, generated £1.4bn from commercial activities (such as station retail) for re-investment in its rail estate.
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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.
Usually, there are almost five 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.