The risks involved in transferring ownership of the Welsh Valley lines to the Welsh Government (WAG) are being considered by Network Rail, according to Rail Minister Paul Maynard.
Responding to Jo Stevens (Labour, Cardiff Central), who had asked a series of Commons Written Questions relating to the future of the Valleys, Maynard said: “Both it [Network Rail] and the Welsh Government have been developing an agreement based upon Network Rail being held harmless for the direct impacts upon its business of the proposed transfer.”
He said that the Government, WAG and NR had been working to develop an asset transfer agreement that “represents a fair settlement to all parties for the proposed transfer. Agreement has been reached on the key principles and will be subject to detailed agreement in due course.”
NR’s debt would not transfer to WAG, he said, adding: “The financial consequences of the proposed transfer of the Valley Lines are still being discussed between the two governments.”
The future of the Valleys is still being decided. Planned electrification has been put on hold, and there are discussions surrounding possible conversion to tram-train operations, or creating a Cardiff Metro with trams.