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Plans to transform Ebbw Vale line to improve passenger service

Credit: Network Rail

Network Rail are working to transform the Ebbw Vale line between Newport and Ebbw Vale – which will enable more trains to run on the line in the future for passengers.

Over the coming weeks, Network Rail plan to set up our site compounds at Llanhilleth station. This will involve fencing off an area to the west of the station car park, next to the Network Rail yard, and an area opposite St Illtyd’s Primary School/Llanhilleth RFC’s rugby pitch, next to the railway.

Between now and October, you will start to see materials, machinery, cabins and welfare facilities brought to the compounds, in preparation for construction work to begin at Llanhilleth station.

As well as fencing off the compound areas, we will also start to fence off a working area opposite the Miner’s Institute/St Illtyd’s Primary School. Network Rail will also cut back vegetation in the area to the east of Grace Pope Court housing and fence off a working are
The work is close to residential properties. To reduce noise and disruption as much as possible Network Rail will use acoustic barriers around generators, ensure our staff on site behave considerately and position lighting columns away from homes.

They are also planning to work during the daytime as much as possible between August and October, but want to stress that there will be overnight work as that’s often the safest time for their staff to work. Please accept our apologies in advance if you are disturbed during this work.

Alexia Course, Transport for Wales’ Director of Transport Operations, said: “I’m really pleased to see work progressing to upgrade the Ebbw Vale Line. The substantial investment will bring significant benefits for people living in Ebbw Vale and the surrounding communities.

“We’ll be able to run more frequent services, including direct services between Ebbw Vale and Newport when the work is complete as part of our wider programme to transform the Wales and Borders network.

“While the work is taking place we advise passengers to check our new website, our recently-updated app or the TfW social media channels for the latest travel information.”

Councillor Jamie Pritchard, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Prosperity, Regeneration and Climate Change said: “We welcome this major investment and improvements which will help support our Lower Ebbw and Sirhowy Valleys Masterplan – which sets out the future development and regeneration opportunities to promote communities, strengthen the economy, improve sustainable transport, and improve the quality of life for residents.

“Network Rail is holding a drop-in event at Newbridge Memo on Thursday August 11, between 3.30pm and 6.30pm. I encourage residents and local business to come along and find out more about the project and the impact on Newbridge and ask any questions you may have.”

Councillor John Morgan, Executive Member Place and Regeneration at Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said: “This is positive news that sees plans progress with our partners in Welsh Government, Network Rail and Transport for Wales to enhance the Ebbw Valley rail link – which remains a high priority for the Council.

“Blaenau Gwent welcomes the investment to dual the line in the Ebbw Valley to increase the frequency of services to Newport and the work to upgrade Llanhilleth railway station. This will improve opportunities for inward investment and access to employment both within and outside of the local area that is seen as a primary driver within the context of the wider Cardiff Capital Region City Deal offer and the development of the Metro.”

Between 22 and 30 October, Network Rail will have unrestricted access to the Ebbw Vale line and will be working during the day and overnight. Buses will replace trains throughout this period.

During this nine-day period in October, engineers will also replace the rail bridge over Bridge Street in Newbridge. To ensure the safety of staff and the public, the road will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians and a fully signposted diversionary route will be in place.

Temporary lane closure of road leading to Llanhilleth station
To ensure the safety of the public and our workforce while Network Rail are working at the station, they are planning to close one lane of the road leading to Llanhilleth station and the respective footpath from Wednesday 28 September 2022 to Thursday 9 February 2023. Temporary traffic lights will be in operation during this period.

Access will remain to/from the station platform via an alternative footpath which will be fully signposted and ramped. Access will also remain to/from the station car park throughout this period.

Major work – October 2022
Between 22 and 30 October, Network Rail will be working continuously (24/7) on the Ebbw Vale line as there will be no trains running and a bus replacement will be in operation between Ebbw Vale Town and Cardiff Central. During this period, our work at Llanhilleth station will consist of:

• Starting to extend the existing platform;
• Starting to build a brand-new platform on the opposite side to the existing one
• Installing brand-new track alongside the existing track;
• Installing the foundations for a brand-new fully accessible footbridge and lifts.

After October, work will continue at Llanhilleth station until late summer 2023. There will be additional dates where we can work 24/7 as the Ebbw Vale line will be closed to passengers which include:
• Sunday 20 November 2022
• Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 March 2023
• Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 March 2023
• Sunday 23 April 2023
• Sunday 14 May 2023
• Sunday 21 May 2023
• Saturday 27 May to Sunday 11 June 2023 (inclusive)
• Sunday 18 June 2023
• Sunday 25 June 2023
• Sunday 2 July 2023
• Sunday 9 July 2023
• Sunday 16 July 2023

Please call the 24-hour National Helpline on: 03457 11 41 41 or visit www.networkrail.co.uk/ebbwvale