£70m Welsh rail expansion nears completion


The Ebbw Vale line transformation moves on to its next phase as the railway reopens its services to Cardiff Central. 

Llanhilleth station site.
Credit: Network Rail.

Network Rail (NR) engineers, and contractors Amco Giffen and Siemens, have completed platform and track works for two stations as part of NR’s Ebbw Vale line development, according to South Wales Argus

Funded by the Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council and the Welsh Government, the transformation involves upgrading the line between Ebbw Vale and Newport. 

NR expects that a bigger line will provide more room for trains and more frequent services running from Ebbw Vale to Wales and the UK.

Full Scope 

Network Rail began work on the railway in early 2022 and has been working with Amco Giffen and Siemens on the following developments: 

  • Building new platforms and extending platforms at Llanhilleth and Newbridge stations.
  • Installing around two miles of new track between Aberbeeg and Crosskeys to create a seven-mile passing loop. 
  • Installing a brand-new footbridge and lifts. 
  • Moving signalling controls to the Wales Route Operating Centre in Cardiff. 
  • Replacing the rail bridge over Bridge Street in Newbridge. 

Engineers replaced the rail bridge in October 2022, installing new track and platform extensions at Newbridge Station. 

Before reopening the Cardiff line, Network Rail constructed two new platforms at Newbridge and Llanhilleth, with new signal posts and track work along the line. 

Additionally, engineers have completed part of the new access ramp and waiting shelter at Newbridge, along with the lift mechanism and motor rooms at Llanhilleth. 

“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,” said Nick Millington, route director for Wales and the Borders. 

The Cardiff Line will close every Sunday for the next four weeks to 16 July so that Network Rail and Amco Giffen can complete the remaining work. 

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