Cardiff-Swansea wires ‘not sensible’

Electrifying the railway between Cardiff and Swansea was not a sensible thing to do, according to Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling.

In a House of Commons debate on Great Western electrification on April 19, Grayling said: “Spending hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money and causing massive disruption to passengers to enable the same ​trains to travel on the same route at the same speed to the same timetable as they do today was not actually a sensible thing to do.”

He said the decision was made with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Jonathan Edwards (Plaid Cymru, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr) claimed that Government didn’t consider the west of Wales worthy of investment.

Grayling responded: “We made the decisions about electrification on the Midland Main Line and the line between Cardiff and Swansea on the simple basis that spending hundreds of millions or billions of pounds to achieve the same journey times in the same trains was not sensible.”
On bi-mode trains, he said: “The trains on the Great Western route are already in operation, delivering services to people in Swansea, for whom it is a great and important investment.”

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  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 23/04/2018 23:37

    At least GWR Class 800’s and Class 802’s IET’s will still provide a service between Swansea and London Paddington and Bristol if the electrification to Swansea has been holted. Despite electrification elsewhere in South Wales including parts of the Welsh Valley lines and Cardiff suburban lines that are to be electrified so that older EMU trains can be used as they would be cascaded from England (London & Southeast, Eastern England & The Midlands).

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  • Paul - 05/05/2018 16:56

    I thought the environment was important but obviously not in Graylings little mind

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  • Richard K Williams - 22/11/2018 11:48

    Uuuuhh….please forgive my ignorance if this comment sounds INCREDIBLY stupid, but the government's stated reasons for not taking electrification to Swansea seem to ignore the fact that the electrification programme for South Wales as it currently stands includes electrification along BOTH the South Wales Main, and the Barry & Vale of Glamorgan lines to Bridgend - and even westwards on the branch line to (the "metropolis" of) Maesteg. Hello!!! Has no-one realised that Bridgend is effectively HALF-WAY to Swansea???!!! Correlatively, it would only require an additional 20-25 miles of line to be electrified in order to bring electrification services to Swansea - not the 40 miles implied when it was originally stated, somewhat vaguely as well as disingenuously, that "electrification would stop at Cardiff" because "electrifying the railway between Cardiff and Swansea was not a sensible thing to do.". Perhaps Mr Grayling didn't realise where Bridgend is in relation to Swansea and Cardiff; or perhaps he didn't take into account there are no tunnels between Bridgend and Swansea, so there are no extraordinary engineering issues to address; or perhaps he just didn't give a stuff about the matter at all! It would appear, then, that providing electrification to connurbations such as Maesteg, Aberdare, and even Hirwaun (!) if the Aberdare line extension/upgrade goes ahead, takes greater priority than providing a seamless electrification service to Wales' second city, by the installation of just 20-25 additional miles of electrification infrastructure!!! Apart from political expediency, am I missing something here? Am I, as I suggested at the start, being INCREDIBLY ignorant/stupid? Or is this the elephant in the room that no-one has noticed/wants to talk about? Enlightenment would be greatly appreciated. Richard K. Williams

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