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Minister publishes Carmarthen to Aberystwyth rail line study

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

The results of a scoping exercise looking into the practicalities of re-opening the railway line between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth will be published today (22 December 2015).
Wednesday 23 December 2015

Earlier this year, Economy and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart agreed to fund an initial study on the potential of reopening the railway, which has been closed to passenger traffic since 1965, with a section remaining open for freight until 1973.

AECOM was commissioned by the Welsh Government to provide technical advice, in the form of a report, setting out all the issues to be considered under a full feasibility study into re-opening the line, and providing a scope, programme and cost for that study

Key findings from the scoping exercise show:

  • Over 97% of the approximately 90km original route remains undeveloped, with the most significant development at the northern end.
  • The core formation, including tunnels, embankments and bridges has generally remained intact.
  • The original route would not necessarily be the optimal one in today’s environment, although it is recognised that the topography of the area does not readily lend itself to alternative railway alignments.
  • The cost of a full feasibility study is expected to be in the order of £350,000 and take around 90 days to complete.
  • It is only possible to give a highly indicative figure for the cost of construction, but it could be up to £505m, plus land and consent costs which could bring the total project costs to £750m.

Commenting on the report, Mrs Hart said:

“Improving public transport links is a key priority for this government and this includes increasing access links across rural communities.

“Carmarthen to Aberystwyth is already connected by a regular Welsh Government funded bus service, but I am open-minded to alternative public transport links and this scoping exercise will help inform the debate. Although funding railway infrastructure is non-devolved, I am pleased the Welsh Government has been able to assist with this first step in the possible re-introduction of rail services between these two locations.”

 

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Transport 23 December 2015 Programme for Government - Supporting People Public services Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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