Latest Rail News

21.03.14

Barmouth and Harlech line to open ahead of schedule

Trains will run between Barmouth and Harlech two weeks ahead of schedule, from 1 May, following round-the-clock working as part of Network Rail’s £10m storm repairs programme.

As part of the repair project, 40 tonnes of debris have been removed and 6,000 pieces of ‘rock armour’ that form the sea protection have been replaced or repaired.

In order to re-open the line, the engineering team has also been replacing more than 1,000 sleepers, 2,500 tonnes of ballast and 1,400 metres of track. One of the worst affected sites was at Llanaber, north of Barmouth, where the winter storms and tidal surges had severely damaged the infrastructure.

Mark Langman, route managing director for Wales, said: “I’m fully aware of the importance of the line to the local economy. We know it’s an important route for tourists and I’m determined that the work will be completed as soon as is possible.”

Beyond the repair work, a long-term strategy – the Coastal Asset Management Plan – is currently being developed to safeguard the 34 miles of Wales railway sea defences against the impact of extreme weather and changing climate. The long-term strategy builds on the existing annual £1.2m programme to maintain and renew the railway sea defences in Wales.

Lynne Milligan, customer services director at Arriva Trains Wales, added that the news is warmly welcomed. “We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding over the last few months,” she said.

Until the line fully re-opens, a regular rail replacement bus service between Harlech and Pwlleli will be in operation.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Pnjarvis   21/03/2014 at 19:25

Re-opening to Porthmadog, Criccieth and Pwllheli depends on the rebuilding of Pont Briwet across the tidal estuary of Afon / River Dwyryd. This is unlikely before December. A diversion of some 16 miles is required for road vehicles and the only rail access to Porthmadog is by the narrow gauge railways from Caernarfon or from Llandudno Junction via Blaenau Fffestiniog. While these have delightful scenery, they are hardly a model for haste.

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