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Cardiff Central upgrade plan as NR plots Welsh priorities

An Arriva Trains Wales Class 150/2 and Class 153 catch the reflection of a stunning sunset at Cardiff Central as they await departure  with the 1942 empty coaching stock working to Canton depot on March 30. TIM SQUIRES.

Redevelopment of Cardiff Central station, upgrading of the North Wales Coast railway and improvements to the relief lines between Cardiff and Severn Tunnel Junction are on the agenda for Control Period 6 (CP6), which runs from 2019 to 2024.

In its latest Welsh Route Study, Network Rail also presents enhancements on Valley Lines, higher frequencies on the Cambrian Main Line, and smaller-scale capacity improvements elsewhere in Wales as choices for funders.

The biggest single project - other than those already committed such as electrification - is likely to be a major upgrade of Cardiff Central station, which is expected to experience a major increase in demand from 13 million passengers in 2013 to 23 million in 2023 and 32 million by 2043. Among plans being considered is the lengthening of Platform 0 and reinstating a west-facing Platform 5.

Enhancements on the Valley Lines are now linked to the Welsh Government’s aspirations to develop a multi-modal integrated transport system for the Cardiff Capital City Region.

  • For much more on Network Rail's plans for Wales, read RAIL 798, published on April 13.

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