UK: The Welsh government has secured £119m of EU funding for South Wales Metro infrastructure works, First Minister Carwyn Jones confirmed on October 4.

This will finance infrastructure enhancement to enable services on lines around Cardiff to be doubled from two to four per hour.

‘The South Wales Metro is an important part of our ambition as a government to improve public transport and better connect our valleys communities and people to employment opportunities’, said Jones. ‘Today’s confirmation of £119m of EU funding means we can proceed with investment in infrastructure work on the valley lines to make faster and more efficient journeys a reality for the thousands of rail users who use these routes daily.’

  • £21·1m for track doubling on the Merthyr line between Merthyr Tydfil and Pentrebach, and Merthyr Vale and Quakers Yard. New platforms will be constructed, with an improved interchange at Merthyr Tydfil station, ramped access at Pentrebach and a new platform and footbridge at Quakers Yard.
  • £27·4m for infrastructure works on the Treherbert line, including new platforms and track doubling from north of Ynyswen to south of Treorchy and north of Llwynypia to south of Dinas.
  • £23·7m for the Aberdare line, including track doubling between Aberdare and Cwmbach, Fernhill and Penrhiwceiber and north of Abercynon, with new platforms and other infrastructure works to allow the service to be increased to four trains per hour along the full length of the line from Abercynon to Aberdare. There will be step-free access and new waiting rooms at Aberdare, and an enhanced interchange at Abercynon.
  • £19·5m for the Rhymney line to undertake track doubling south of Rhymney, north of Tir Phil and around Bargoed. There will be new platforms with step-free access and a new waiting room at Rhymney.
  • £27·3m for the development of a new rolling stock depot at Taff’s Well.

Work is expected to be completed by 2023.

‘I’m pleased we are able to confirm this significant amount of EU funding for the South Wales Metro’, said Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure, Ken Skates. ‘This, along with the start of the new Wales & Borders rail contract later this month, marks considerable progress towards our plans for a modern, efficient and forward looking rail service.‘

The Welsh Government is also applying for a further £40m of EU funding for Metro infrastructure enhancements, which it hopes will be secured by the end of 2018.

  • KeolisAmey’s forthcoming Wales & Borders Operator & Development Partner contract which starts on October 14 was described in detail in the July 2018 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine, which subscribers can access in the digital archive.