Ebbw Vale line reopens as £70M transformation nears completion


Ebbw Vale line

The line between Cardiff Central and Ebbw Vale Town was closed for 19 days for the work but further closures are required to complete the project. The line is set to close every Sunday from now until 16 July for the work.


Funded by Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council, supported by a loan from the Welsh Government, the £70M investment will allow a new hourly passenger service between Ebbw Vale Town and Newport.


The Department for Transport (DfT) and Network Rail are also providing a further £17M to deliver signalling upgrade and renewal work. This work, still to be conducted, includes the continuation of upgrading the signalling in the Gaer and Rogerstone areas of Newport, closing the Park Junction signal box and moving control of the signalling to the Wales Route Operating Centre in Cardiff.


Network Rail’s programme to transform the line began early last year.


Work that has been completed by the contractors includes the construction of new platforms at both Newbridge and Llanhilleth stations, one at each station, and the installation of new signal posts.


Engineers have also regraded and stabilised an embankment and made headway replacing more than 3km of track between Aberbeeg and Crosskeys to create an 11km passing loop which will be brought into use later in the year.


Part of a new access ramp and waiting shelter was also constructed at Newbridge station while a lift mechanism and motor rooms were installed at Llanhilleth station.


Wales and the Borders route director Nick Millington said: “There is never a good time to close sections of the railway, but it is the quickest and safest way to carry out the huge volumes of work required for this major project.


“Once complete, passengers will benefit from a direct link to Newport which will provide better access to employment opportunities, leisure and training, as well as open up rail travel to Bristol, the midlands and London.”


Transport for Wales chief operations officer Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde also welcomed the reopening of the line and added: “The multi-million-pound investment into the Ebbw Vale line will allow us to run more frequent and more reliable services in the near future, bringing significant benefits to our customers."


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