From Saturday 22nd October the Ebbw Vale line will be closed for a period of nine days to carry out major upgrades and station improvements
Network Rail’s engineering team will begin work on the multi-million pound upgrade to make way for increased rail services. The project will see engineers working around the clock to extend the platforms at Llanhilleth and Newbridge stations. The upgrade work will also include the replacement and installation of a new railway bridge for Newbridge as well as over half a kilometer of track near Crosskeys station.
The line will experience a complete closure for nine days from Saturday October 22 to Sunday October 30 inclusive, meaning no rail service will be able to operate. Transport for Wales has arranged rail replacement bus services between Ebbw Vale Town and Cardiff Central, with passengers advised to check their travel plans before making their journey by visiting: www.tfw.wales or via the mobile app.
The project will also see a complete closure of Bridge Street as engineers work to replace the rail bridge at Newbridge. The Bridge Street closure will take place from 11:00 p.m. on Friday 21 October and will end at 05:00 a.m. on Monday 31 October. A diversion route will be set up and will be fully marked.
Following the line’s closure in October, the Network Rail team will work on the Ebbw Vale line until the second half of summer 2023, with further line closures to be communicated to passengers closer to the date .
Project preparation work has been undertaken over the summer and will see reduced disturbance where possible. The Network Rail team also put in place acoustic barriers around the worksites to reduce noise for local communities.
Once completed, Transport for Wales will operate new hourly rail services between Ebbw Vale and Newport alongside the existing hourly service between Ebbw Vale and Cardiff. The new services aim to increase access to employment, training and recreation for local communities.
Nick Millington, Acting Director of Routes at Network Rail Wales & Borders, said: “It’s fantastic to see the transformation of the Ebbw Vale line really taking shape. This multi-million pound investment will transform services on the line and truly benefit the communities it serves.
“I would like to thank local communities, in advance, for their patience while we carry out this work safely.”
Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Operations Director of Transport for Wales, said: “We welcome this investment to upgrade the Ebbw Vale line. Work to increase line capacity will allow us to operate direct services between Ebbw Vale and Newport from 2023, as part of delivering the Welsh Government’s vision for South Wales Metro .
Councilor Helen Cunningham, Deputy Chief and Executive Member of Place at Blaenau Gwent Council, said: ‘I am pleased with the progress of the upgrade and modernization of Llanhilleth Station as part of the major investment to to transform the Ebbw Vale line between Newport and Ebbw. Valley. I appreciate that Network Rail is doing everything to minimize disruption to passengers when carrying out the works and I am sure passengers will see the benefits of improved service and more reliable journeys in the future.
Councilor Julian Simmonds, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Caerphilly County Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners on these exciting improvements which will improve Newbridge Station and make it fully accessible to all. passengers for the first time. . These improvements will help support our Lower Ebbw and Sirhowy Valleys Master Plan, which sets out future opportunities for development and regeneration to promote communities, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life for residents.
Councilor Laura Lacey, Cabinet Member for Assets and Infrastructure at Newport City Council, said: “It is great to see the progress Network Rail is making to improve the Ebbw Vale line. Whether it’s increased access to jobs and social opportunities, or reduced carbon emissions through increased use of the line, better transport links will benefit both Newport and the communities of up and down the valleys of Gwent.