Wdig neu Gwdig?

Main station sign at Fishguard and Goodwick

Wdig 1, Gwdig 0

Is it Abergwaun ac Wdig or Abergwaun a Gwdig? What’s the Welsh name of our new station?

Arriva Route Map showing new station

Wdig 1, Gwdig 1

With less than a month until it opens, you’d think something this basic would have been sorted out long ago. Far from it.

Arriva West Wales timetable

Wdig 1, Gwdig 2

There is now total confusion over the name of the place served by our new station.

The splendid roadside sign on Station Hill proclaims Abergwaun ac Wdig.

Meanwhile Arriva’s new route map displays Abergwaun a Gwdig.

Hedging its bets, Arriva’s newly published West Wales Timetable manages to have it both ways.

Arriva West Wales timetable

Wdig 2, Gwdig 2

The list of stations served gives Abergwaun a Gwdig, while the timetable sections a few pages later use Abergwaun ac Wdig.

Before you ask, National Rail Enquiries avoids the dilemma completely: Fishguard and Goodwick, Abergwaun ac Wdig and Abergwaun a Gwdig are all still completely missing from its Journey Planner.

Road sign at entrance to Goodwick

Wdig 3, Gwdig 2

So what’s the right name for our twin towns? Here’s a clue: the road sign as you reach Goodwick gives Wdig in black and white.

Ysgol Wdig website

Wdig 4, Gwdig 2

And if you’re thinking it’s time someone went back to school to learn the name of our home town, just send them to Ysgol Wdig.

 

Does any of this matter? Yes of course. Public services in a bilingual country should not have to be told to name our towns correctly. It is a matter of basic competence and respect.

 

 

UPDATE April 22nd

Goodwick Councillor Moira Lewis assures Fishguard Trains“The correct name is Wdig. Therefore it should say Abergwaun ac Wdig”.

Diolch.

32 Comments

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32 Responses to Wdig neu Gwdig?

  1. Swansea Jack

    This was spotted a few weeks back and ATW were informed. It seems as if the message filtered through to the sign writing department and the timetablers but didn’t get there in time for the mapmaker and the station summary list compiler.

    I suppose things like this can happen when the rail industry is able to design, contract and build a station in a matter of months rather than the usual years. I worked in Ebbw Vale in 1988 when they were discussing reopening the line from Newport for passenger trains – and how long did that take….20 years was it!?

  2. Rhydgaled

    “Public services in a bilingual country should not have to be told to name our towns correctly.”

    The wikipedia article of Arriva Trains Wales says that public services in Wales are legally obliged to provide services in Welsh, but the railways are not considered a public service and are run by private companies. So Arriva Trains Wales have no such obligation, and could have just used English.

    I don’t know Welsh, so can’t answer the question. However I have picked up that Welsh spellings can change depending on what is in front of them, Wdig is the correct name of the town, but Gwdig may be a correct mutation of the name. For example, Cymru is mutated to Gymru sometimes.

  3. Rob

    Arriva may be a private company, but it does has a Welsh language policy and under the new Welsh language measure, it will certainly be obligated to provide Welsh language services. Irrespective of law however, it would be common courtesy to get the name of the station right. But to be fair Arriva is much better than some of its predecessors – the Great Western would certainly have attracted the ire of the Welsh Language Society had they been active before 1948 with mangling of place names like Aberaeron, Cemmaes, Cynwyl and Llanpumsaint! It was a different world then though.
    I wouldn’t pretend to be an expert, but mutations of place names follow strict rules. A “G” can disappear from the start of a word (Gwaelod y Garth will change in the sentence “Rydw i’n mynd i Waelod y Garth”) but it can’t appear if it’s never been there. so, if it is Gwdig it could change to Wdig under certain circumstances, but if it’s Wdig to start with, that G has no business being there at all…..

  4. Swansea Jack

    Agreed Rob – Wdig it most certainly is and should remain! I feel ATW have generally shown a positive commitment to the Welsh language, but it can be difficult when a non-Welsh speaker is involved in drafting publicity as they will just continue using what they’ve been given without any consideration to its accuracy. I well remember Cardigan’s Pont y Priordy becoming Pony Priordy when the signs were first made as someone had been less than careful over their handwriting of the Welsh version.

    The station signs are correct, the timetables seem to be correct, just the route map and timetable introduction page list of stations to debug.

    Oh yes – you can now get Fishguard & Goodwick in national rail enquiries by typing in fgw in the station box – it will give you the times from May 14th, but the fares don’t work yet!

  5. Joshua Parry

    Rob, you are right under the Welsh language measure, Arriva Trains Wales must provide a bilingual service as a company that receives more than £400,000 a year in public funding

    As a regular user of Clarbeston Road, when are the information signs going o be posted, i use it regurarly and Clarby is a nightmare, the next stage will be to re-open the lkine through Maenclochog and Rosebush I presume to Cardigan

    • Rhydgaled

      The Maenclochog railway didn’t go to Cardigan, and I don’t think there’d be any sense in re-openning it. Just give us later buses from either of Goodwick’s railway stations to Cardigan and St. Dogmaels, connecting from both the evening train arrivals (15:14 and 17:39 from Cardiff).

      The actual line to Cardigan might be nice re-opened as a heritage railway, but really I think better bus services to/from Goodwick’s stations are a much-more realistic prospect. If you are going to re-open lifted railways, building a new line from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth or Bangor to Porthmadog (via Caernarfon) should be top of the list if you ask me.

      The top priorities for us now are probably saving the Swansea District Line from Network Rail’s proposed ‘rationalisation’, improvments to buses and getting appropriate rolling stock on the daytime express boat train. Does anyone agree with that, is there anything I left off?

      • Spad

        Fishguard Trains strongly agrees that the Swansea District line must be retained and developed to the benefit of public transport throughout West Wales. Here’s how an article published in the IWA’s Agenda described the line a few months ago: “A surviving and precious inheritance from Wales’ boom years, waiting to be restored to full service as an express route between south east and south west Wales – Carmarthen, Milford and Pembroke as well as Fishguard. The potential extends even as far as Aberystwyth: the boat train line links directly to the Heart of Wales line near Pontarddulais. Direct trains could reach Llandeilo from Cardiff in an hour and a half, and a connecting express bus could deliver passengers to Aberystwyth in 2 hours 50 minutes from Cardiff, compared to over 4 hours today by either TrawsCambria coach or rail via Shrewsbury. Radically improved access for the whole of west Wales, and all using existing infrastructure.”
        Once Fishguard and Goodwick Station is open and crowded with passengers, Fishguard Trains will turn up the gas under this campaign.

  6. Joshua Parry

    This website has now fulfilled its prophecy for fishguard now, cannot we look at re-opening the old line that went from maenclochog, or the old line that went from fishguard to eglwyswrw, this would be a remarkable achievement, we need a link to Aberystwyyth that is what we should be battling for.

    Wouldnt a line from Camrmarthen to Aberystwyth take a route through Cardigan, where did the train from Cardigan start from or go through, I know it went through Eglwyswrw, the main priority should be a line from Carmarthen-Cardigan-Aberystwyth and then a link to the North. Its very exciting reopening Goodwick station but something needs to be done for Cardigan and I also propose a line to Maenclochog as it is a great little village, which could attract tourists from abroad.

    • Rob

      Joshua,
      The line from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth went via Pencader, Lampeter and Tregaron. The section from Carmarthen to Pencader was built as part of a line that was planned to go to Cardigan, but the company went bankrupt and more by accident than design, the line ended up going to Aberystwyth with a branch line that went from Pencader to Newcastle Emlyn. Part of the Carmarthen – Aber line between Carmarthen and Pencader is now owned by the Gwili Railway.
      The Cardigan branch went from Whitland via Crymych, while a third line from Clynderwen went via Maenclochog to Letterston and Fishguard.
      Out of all three, I think the only one that would have even a social case to reopen would be Carmarthen – Aberystwyth, but it would require a huge cash injection from the Welsh Government. Its not going to happen any time soon, but never say never.
      The other lines would probably be better served by bus services, given the sparse nature of population. A tourist operation on the old Maenclochog Railway would be a sight to behold, but I can tell you that setting up a preserved railway is no easy feat – and we already have two in the area (Gwili and Teifi Valley)…
      If you’re interested, there is a great book called The Railways of Pembrokeshire (ISBN 978-1906419073) – originally written by British Rail and Gwili Railway Signalling inspector John Morris but re-vamped by Richard Parker which is well worth a read. If the price is a bit steep, Haverfordwest library is bound to have a copy – mine is closely guarded!

  7. Joshua Parry

    I think I have seen the book before but will have another kip at it, Have their been any feasibility studies done into re-opening a Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line, this would not be as simple as re-opening the VoG line because new track would have to be laid? With the lease ending for Arriva in 2017 and a not for profit rail comapny being proposed by Plaid and others, could we see the profits being spent on big infrastructure projects such as reopening the Aberystwyth Carmarthen line, and how much time would be reduced between Aberystwyth and Cardiff then?

    On the old line from Camrarthen to Aberystwyth where did the trains run from and to where?

    I applaud you on this blog I have been reading it for a while now

    • Rhydgaled

      There was a petition to the assembly about improved/restored bus/rail links between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen recently. You might like to look at the responce: http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/documents/s4986/Consultation%20response.pdf

      Some points from that document are as follows:
      ————————-
      The peak service on the line was 4 trains per day on weekdays with a fastest journey time of 2 hrs 30 minutes, typically it was 2 hrs 40 minutes

      There were also branch lines : one to Newcastle Emlyn (5 services per day) the other to Aberaeron ( 4 services per day), both were withdrawn (1952 and 1951 respectively) although the last freight train came out of Newcastle Emlyn in 1973.

      SWWITCH and TraCC both stated that the bus service is quicker than the train was, and more frequent (hourly), and do not support the idea of re-openning it for that reason, and because the upgraded TrawsCymru bus service would have been cheaper.
      ———————————-
      That is why I try to refer to building a new Carmarthen – Aberystwyth line, rather than re-openning the old one. The old one was too slow, FULL STOP. I reckon, if WAG were willing to fork out for higher standards of track and diverting the route through a new tunnel just north of the Gwili railway’s middle station to cut out a really twisty part of the old route, a class 158 could do the trip in about 1hr 15mins, but that figure involved a lot of guesswork.

      As for the TrawsCyrmu, it was supposed to launch on April 1st with six new buses and and hourly service for (I seem to remember) 6am to 8pm. However, none of that has materialised and instead the buses have been downgraded, the route taken out of the TrawsCambria/Cymru network and the first bus from Carmarthen is 7am and can’t get anyone to Aberystwyth by 9am. On Saturdays, I think the first bus from Carmarthen is a dismal 11am! All this is the fault of Arriva, who decided they were going to run the route commertially rather than bid for the TrawsCymru contract.

  8. Rhydgaled

    I’ve seen a copy of the Railways Of Pembrokeshire book in Fishguard library, and I think Haverfordwest had a copy too. Another book you might find intresting is the one I call ‘the purple book’ which is about (and I believe titled) ‘The Whitland & Cardigan railway’. I think it was published by Oakwood Press, but I may be thinking of a different railway book.

    There was, I believe, never a railway to Eglwyswrw. The nearest that anything would have come to it was perhaps the Whitland and Taf vale’s proposed route to Newport (Pembs) from Crymych. That was never built, and they extended from Crymych to Cardigan instead.

    A route along the coast from Cardigan to Aberystwyth would probably have mad gradients for a railway, best to stick roughly to the orriginal Carmarthen – Aberystwth via Pencader, Lampeter and Tregaron route I think. If that ever happens, I propose the Gwili railway be assisted to relocate to the Whitland – Crymych line.

    I agree with Joshua that something needs to be done for Cardigan. My opinion is the best option is to sort out TrawsCambria, making the X50 service run from Fishguard & Goodwick (St Davids would be even better, but there aren’t enough decent buses, unless you don’t have a spare in which case if one of the decent ones is unavailable you get a cattle truck to ride on) right through to Aberystwyth all day.

    Richards Bro’s two vehicles for the X50 service are awesome, they actually have enough legroom for me to still be comfortable after an hour on them. I think there are two similar buses (with an extra row of seats though, so they don’t have the legroom) parked in Aberystwyth at the moment. I say get these refurbished so they provide more legroom and give them to Richards to run the X50 about every two hours from Goodwick to Aberystwyth.

    The Swansea district line, and making sure the trains that use it are appropriate, not suburban stock like class 150s, is perhaps even more important.

  9. Swansea Jack

    We need to be realistic over railway line re-openings. Things like the Cardi Bach (Whitland – Cardigan), the North Pembs & Fishguard Railway to Maenclochog and Puncheston are long gone, and could never be justified for restoration of rail. They should however be reopened as cycle / bridle paths as they would open up mid/ North Pembrokeshire to visitors. Pembrokeshire needs to offer more to tourists than just Oakwood & Bluestone in the area away from the coast path.

    The Carmarthen – Aberystwyth route fell victim to dicky beeching’s mad axe after he decided unilaterally that the Cambrian coast only needed one rail outlet (the strategically useful Barmouth – Ruabon via Bala, and Bangor – Caernarfon – Afon Wen lines fell foul of that rule too). Re-opening it would be useful, but as Rhydgaled says journey times would be uncompetitive unless a new formation was used, and the costs of building it could not be justified (at present anyway).

    The Swansea District line is of strategic importance, as it is the key to providing competitive journey times between West Wales and the increasingly important City of Cardiff. There would need to be provision of a Morriston Parkway type station to capture the Swansea Valley area, although passenger traffic into the old Dyfed would need to increase considerably in order to justify a two tier service to Carmarthen and points West – one via Swansea and the other via Morriston. The district’s big problem is that it effectively by-passes the second biggest city in Wales – not exactly conducive to getting good passenger numbers. We need to be realistic – the main Carmarthen – Swansea – Cardiff axis only justifies an hourly 2 or 3 coach train at this moment in time if we focus on passengers to / from West of Gowerton, so running an extra train every hour Carmarthen – Cardiff via Felin Fran (Morriston) could not be justified. A peak hour service should however be looked at, as along with the mid-morning Cardiff to Fishguard and return boat train it would help to justify keeping the line as a double track route.

    Rail should play an increasing role in transport in Wales, but places like Hirwaun, Abertillery, Blackwood, Llanwern and Gorseinon would be more appropriate places to get back on the rail map of Wales first in my view, rahter than things like Carmarthen – Aberystwyth.

    Finally ‘The Railways of Pembrokeshire’ is definitely worth every penny, and you may find the Oakwood Press books on the Manchester & Milford (Carmarthen to Aberystwyth) Railway worth reading too.

  10. Rob

    I think you’re right that places in the valleys, especially where the infrastructure is in place, like Hirwaun or the two valleys out of Neath would be a far higher priority to re-open, especially while money is very tight. Many places can be better served by good rail link bus services, but the current shenanagens on the Carmarthen – Aberystwyth route show the weakness of the current “commercial first” bus service legislation. There would need to be new legislation in the Assembly to bring in a more regulated structure so that operators are tied to common timetable change dates, inter-operable ticketing and a minimum service provision.
    I would make a plea for a few large openings/re-openings. I think that Carmarthen – Aberystwyth could be justified on the basis of connecting Wales as part of a national transport plan, as could Afon Wen – Caernarfon – Bangor. Perhaps even places like the Sirhowy Valley, and one or two cross valley services (Newport – Pontypridd) should also form part of an expanded network. I’d look at a Cardiff – Carmarthen service via the district line (using a new Swansea north station to interchange with the two Neath valley services and a local Llandeilo service), which would then split at Carmarthen into Aberystwyth and Fishguard sections, as the Cambrian line trains split at Machynlleth.
    Fishguard has been a quiet revolution in Welsh railway policy. It’s the first re-opening outside of the south Wales commuter belt – and it seems to be working. It shows that the right service will attract passengers, and that rail transport has an expanding role to play in rural areas.

  11. Rhydgaled

    The old alignment of Carmarthen – Aberystwyth has a straight section north of Lampeter to somewhere near Strata Florida (not sure exactly where Strata Florida station was though), that should be 90mph capable if re-instated to a high enough standard. I did hear once that TrawsCymru was to have timetable change dates constrained to match the rail timetable’s change dates. Instead we have Arriva changing the Carmarthen – Aberystwyth route every few months, Richards Bros seem to have stopped bothering reprinting their timetable book to make connections, they just release a single sheet showing the X50/550 updates. Meanwhile, the rest of Richards’ timetable book hasn’t changed much for some time except the changes to connect with Fishguard’s new rail service.

    As for the Swansea District Line, in the long term I’d like it to have an hourly 158 from Cardiff to Carmarthen, calling at Bridgend, Port Talbot and Llanelli only, extending to Aberystwyth in one hour and either Fishguard or Milford Haven in the other (the boat train, I guess, would need to be a portion of one of the Aberystwyth trips if the main service west of Carmarthen goes to Milford rather than Fishguard).

    Short-term though, get some suitable rolling stock on the boat train, add a morning service to Cardiff and a 17:54 back to Carmarthen/Pembrokeshire, and have all three call at Llanelli, Port Talbot and Bridgend only between Cardiff and Carmarthen.

    Morriston parkway would be served by the ‘Swansea Valley Lines’ (perhaps try to get a heritage designation to allow a trial service using Pacers after they are retired from the Cardiff valleys, upgrading to electric tram/trains if the service proves itself). The ‘Swansea Valley Lines’ would involve extending the line from Aberdare, not just to Hirwaun but through Glyn-Neath to connect with the freight-only line down to Swansea Docks, where the hub station of Swansea valley lines would be. From there, there would (eventually) be a tram service to Mumbles via the mainline Swansea High Street station, but first there would be trains up the other frieght lines to Onllwyn/Severn Sisters and Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen (via the SDL and calling at Moriston Parkway). Other posibilities are Gwaun-Cae-Gurwen to Swansea High Street via Llanelli and Swansea High Street – Llanelli – Morriston – Swansea Docks. Later, it would be nice to build a line up from the SDL to Clydach, Pontardawe, Ystradgynlais and Abercraf, which would also be served by trains to Swansea Docks. These local services would be what serves the Morriston area, allowing the trains between south-east and south-west Wales to pass through non-stop to minimise journey times to try and beat the M4.

  12. Joshua Parry

    I am not an expert on these matters, and I like travelling on Trains, but when I come down to Clarby and Fishguard, the fact of the matter is nobody is using them, and the priority should be a line that links the west coast of wales, feasibly it opens the possibility of more travellers coming from North Wales, North of England down to Wales, it would bring more tourists without cars, I do not have a car and travelling in this part of Wales is extremely difficult, trains are more reliable than buses, yes I agree opening more stations like their doing in Caerphilly and up to Hirwaun is more feasible, but we should have a train service that we can all use, If I dont have a car and I live in Tenby and I have a meeting in Aberystwyth, I dont want to go all the way on a myriad of buses, I would rather go by train to Aberystwyth via Carmarthen, their has to be a better way.

    The priority should be the electrification of the mainline to swansea and of the valleys services, but one something needs to be done to revitalise West Wales and I would have rather seen 20 years a go that objective one funding was used to build infrastructure such as a train line from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth and to Bangor, tourists would then come to stay in Tenby and then make their way to Aberystwyth and then to Barmouth,

    It is feasible for this line as it connects Wales, I can get from Cardiff to Penzance, quicker than I can get to Aberystwyth from Cardiff, this is totally wrong

    • Rhydgaled

      The Aberystwyth – Carmarthen Traws Cymru service should be about 2hrs 5mins (2hrs might just be possible, but the awful non-Traws service Arriva run is timed at 1hr 55mins and is at least 5 minutes late alot of the time). The Swansea District Line service would be around 1hr 22mins from Cardiff to Carmarthen, bringing Aberystwyth – Cardiff down to just over 3hr 30mins if the buses connect well.

      Sorting out the bus service is up there with the Swansea District Line (and it’s rolling stock) on the list of my priorities, and electrification to Swansea and scraping of the bi-mode IEP idea (which I think would end the Pembroke&Tenby – London service) is vital.

      I agree we need a new Carmarthen – Aberystwyth line, to drop the journey time from 2hrs by bus to 1hr 15min by rail, but that is not a priority right now due to the huge cost.

      From Tenby to Aberystwyth, you could go to Carmarthen on the train, then get a bus to Aberystwyth but I think a bus to Haverfordwest, then to Fishguard to connect with a new extended X50 service to Aberystwyth might be faster. Have you ever been on YJ55BKE or YJ55BKF? In my opinion they mostly transform long-distance bus travel into a plesant experience (short distances are alright on other buses). YJ55BKF even has WI-FI since it is often used on the 11:00 412 service from Cardigan to Haverfordwest, and the 13:00 return, at the moment.

  13. Joshua Parry

    I dont like buses I like trains, but think about it, no tourists are going to use the trawscambria, i went from tenby to aberystwyth once and it took me 15 hours by public transport, it took me a whole day to get to the uni in Aberystwyth after a family holiday in Tenby,

    No i havent been on the buses with Wifi but then again i wouldnt use a computer on a bus because of the difficulties of using a laptop on a bus. maybe if I was an old age pensioner I could use the bus,but they are so expensive now,

    The point is buses do not bring investment and tourism, and jobs, a reliable train service would, but then again maybe with more cuts happening to Bus services Richards bros, might cut some of the 400s services because their not financially viable,

    Perhaps its right that we focus on our efforts in South East Wales, bit I do think that the key to redevelopment in south west wales is a good train service, it has done wonders for Aberystwyth, just one train every two hours, and their more investment in places such as Haverfordwest and Fishguard due to the train lines, a service from Carmarthen to Aberystwyth would rejuvenate the economy.

    I wouldnt go on the Trawscambia express due to the costs involved and the time it takes

    • Rhydgaled

      It isn’t the Wi-Fi that’s special, YJ55BKE doesn’t have it but is still a huge step up from at least one of the Wi-Fi buses for route 412.

      If you want to bring in tourists to Pembrokeshire without cars, I think it is getting a fast, reliable and fairly frequent service from Cardiff, with appropriate rolling stock, that counts. Saving the Swansea district line is a vital first step on that (very long) track.

      With an adult day West Wales Rover Ticket (£7) you can get from Tenby to Aberystwyth by bus. I suppose it would take 4hrs 40mins, IF you get the connections sorted and extend X50 to Aberystwyth. It’d probably be quicker to go to Carmarthen on the train and get the bus to Aberystwyth from there. With a new Carmarthen – Aberystwyth railway it’d be faster still I suppose, but I expect the fare would be much higher than the £7 if you do it all by bus.

  14. Swansea Jack

    Josh – I disagree wholeheartedly with your assertion that the trains are empty. Over 30 arrived on the 18:29 arrival on Monday, and numbers on the Friday have reached up to over 70. Passenger numbers are increasing, and as we move into the Summer tourist season, and open the station at Goodwick passenger numbers should increase further. As a rough guide 20,000 passengers a year equates to around 400 per week or just under 70 a day!

    Ebbw Vale was predicted to have 38,000 passenger journeys per annum – that was with an hourly service. Fishguard has 7 trains a day, so you would expect somewhat less than 38,000. It was noted that 135,000 travelled from Ebbw Vale in the first year – the lack of capacity on infrastructure on that route has caused a great deal of embarrassment to many. Fishguard & Goodwick has less passengers because it has less trains, but remember a skeleton local service on the route remained until May 1982 – albeit a single, unbalanced 07:22 Fishguard to Clarby road, with no evening return except for the night boat train. Some of the routes you are looking at lost their services completely in the 1960s, or even back in the early 1950s, and at present cannot justify regular bus services along some of the routes proposed.

    We must be realistic here – yes there is a place for expanded rail transport in Wales, both for short distance commuter flows in the South Wales Valleys and for more inter regional traffic flows, but even Carmarthen to Aberystwyth would be a struggle. Places like Cardigan etc really are not going to happen.

    Rhydgaled, in terms of the Swansea area I’d say the easiest to provide on routes devoid of track would be to construct an East to North curve at Gowerton to join onto the old LNWR route to pass through Gorseinon to reach the Swansea district line at Grovesend, and hence join the Central Wales line at Hendy. This could add Gorseinon back to the network, and provide Ammanford with a decently timed regular service to Swansea. If successful then services could get extended from Pantyffynnon via Ammanford Town up towards G-C-G.

    The Neath valley would compete with a dual carriageway from Glynneath and Resolven into Neath, and you’d struggle to restore the curve into Neath General because of road developments in the last 40 years, so I cannot see that being progressed. The Swansea Valley could have justified a service to Ystradgynlais if the cost of restoring the track was not involved, but remember Ystradgynlais lost is passenger service in the 1930s so the chances of success are slim.

    • Rhydgaled

      The thing with the inital phase of my idea for the Swansea area local services is that, apart from the Hirwaun – Glyn-Neath section, none of the routes are devoid of track (Ystradgynlais would be a later phase).

      Gowerton – Gorseinon – Ammanford was on my list once, but there are two existing routes linking Ammanford to Swansea (one to Swansea Docks via the SDL and the proposed Moriston Parkway, the other via Llanelli to Swansea High Street). My thoughts are an hourly service on each route, I doubt Ammanford would justify a 3rd train per hour (via Gorseinon)?

      The Glynneath line would be to Swansea Docks, using the existing frieght line, I wasn’t considering a connection to the mainline Neath station. Shame the track to Ystradgynlais is gone, meaning it’d have to wait for a later phase, as that route would probably serve the largest population.

  15. Swansea Jack

    Ammanford to Swansea via Llanelli isn’t competitive time wise with other transport modes. Goreseinon is a major settlement in the area which needs the economic boost given by improved transport links, as indeed is Ammanford and Glanamman / GCG.

    Going via Llandarcy into a Swansea Docks type route would similarly not be competitive, although there might be merit in that idea for other flows. With Ffordd Cwm Tawe providing a decent road along Swansea Vale the chances of successfully having a Swansea – Morriston -Ystalyfera – Ystradgynlais / Brynamman type railway line is reduced.

    What I’d like to see in the Swansea area is a restoration of the Mumbles railway (to deal with road congestion along the route) with a Northward extension past the Liberty stadium, Morriston, Morriston Hospital (interchange with Morriston Parkway on the District line) and then continue to Pontardawe. Effectively the route of the Swansea bendy bus but extended at each end.

    • Rhydgaled

      If Ammanford to Swansea HighStreet via Llanelli or via Llandarcy to Swansea Docks (using the existing route) aren’t competitive, then what is going to call at the Morriston Parkway to connect with your proposed Mumbles – Morriston – Pontardawe tram? It may be a round-about route, but I thought an electric train/tram could do Morriston Parkway – Swansea Docks via the existing frieght routes quite quickly if the lines were suitably upgraded. I would like to add a tram down from Swansea Docks to Mumbles via the High Street station.

      Ammanford/GCC – Swansea Docks and Swansea High Street – Llanelli – Morriston – Swansea Docks are the only routes I identified which could call at Morriston Parkway. If Ammanford – Swansea via Goreseinon was re-built, what would serve Llangennech and Bynea? I guess the solution to both would be to run a Llanelli – Port Talbot shuttle over the SDL, connecting with mainline trains in both directions at Port Talbot. Remember I won’t have the expresses from the west stop between Llanelli and Port Talbot, the M4’s just too damn fast and rail needs to catch up massivly.

  16. Joshua Parry

    Worst public transporrt idea?

    The swansea bendy bus, going to visit people in University their the prices are astronomical, and the money they spent to build ‘special lanes’, I am just cant say more about the swansea bendy bus

  17. Swansea Jack

    Agreed – not a patch on restoring the Mumbles Railway tram and extending it to the Liberty and Morrison! Such a shame that Swansea lost the World’s first passenger railway in 1960 – it would be such an attraction for Swansea Bay – something the bendy-bus will never ever achieve!

  18. Anthony

    I agree having trams in Swansea would be a good money spinner especially down to Mumbles although is there room to install a tramway along the seafront in Swansea?

    I know tram schemes are expensive but would perhaps using some lowfloor parry people movers which are much lighter than normal trams and utilities won’t have to be relocated which is one major cost to new trams schemes.

  19. Swansea Jack

    Most of the route from the Leisure Centre to Mumbles Pier is still available – it is in use as a cycle track now, and but for part of the section beyond Oystermouth and a section near the newish Ice Cream Parlour in Mumbles it could be restored and still allow space for a cycle / footpath. Trams have the advantage that they could run on roads too, so I’d run it up past the station to give connections with trains before heading through Landore up to the Liberty etc. Parry people movers sounds a good idea too, you could have a regular service with them, say a tram every 6 to 10 minutes through the day.

  20. Dave Harries

    Come to think of it, if Portsmouth Harbour – served by First Great Western trains from Cardiff Central – is referred to in Welsh as “Harbwr Portsmouth” then shouldn’t Fishguard Harbour be “Harbwr Abergwaun”?

  21. Swansea Jack

    Fishguard Harbour as was, always had the Welsh translation of Porthladd Abergwaun. You will notice that although the Railway industry still calls it Fishguard Harbour, the Fishguard & Rosslare, Railways and Harbours company, in their present public guise as Stena Ports PLC refer to the location as Port of Fishguard, which is also the name used by the signs on the remaining railway platform. So at least the Welsh and English versions match each other there!

    Good point though!

  22. David yn Rhydychen

    Dear all,
    Please could you sign this petition, and forward to all your contacts:

    NEW PETITION: Reopen the Carmarthen -Aberystwyth Train Line

    https://www.assemblywales.org/epetition-list-of-signatories.htm?pet_id=795

    Diolch yn fawr,
    David

    • Spad

      Good luck with this David. The loss of the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth rail link was one of the worst in the saga of rail disinvestment in Wales.
      BUT we are not convinced that there is a case for prioritising a re-build. Your petition calls for reopening. If only it were that easy. The track route has been largely lost, and you are talking about a major new-build engineering project. There is so much that could be done to upgrade and integrate rail-road links between south, west and mid Wales without such huge investment (e.g. using the existing underused Swansea District and Heart of Wales Lines to link to dedicated onward bus services). Let Welsh Government show it has exhausted all available options rather than give them an easy case to knock down.
      That’s how we see it – what does anyone else think?

      • Rhydgaled

        There has been a petition on the issue of Aberystwyth – Carmarthen links fairly recently: http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=2429

        SWWITCH and TraCC responded to that consultation saying the line only had 4 trains per day, with a fastest time of 2hrs 30mins and the TrawsCymru service would be much more frequent and faster than that. However, the TrawsCymru service never materialised, and Arriva’s present service is a mess, it is faster and more frequent but unlike the proposed TrawsCymru bus (service TC1) has a late start (northbound) and early finish (southbound), TC1 was supposed to be hourly 6am to 8pm. Given the failure to deliver service TC1, my opinion is the WAG should either introduce leglislation to allow the TC1 to operate or plan a new rail link.

        I agree with TraCC and SWWITCH’s assessment that, at 2hrs 30mins, reopenning the old line would not be worthwhile. This is why, when pressing for a Carmarthen – Aberystwyth rail link I try to say ‘new line’ rather than ‘re-openned line’, I reckon a ‘new line’ (using only the straightest parts of the old alignment) would be quite a bit faster than the bus, but much more expensive than the pointless re-openning. If only the Welsh Government would abandon their programs of increasing road capacity they would be able to comence a program of reconnecting Wales by rail.

        The priority however, in my opinion, should be to get the Swansea District Line into use, cutting Carmarthen – Cardiff to around 1hr 25mins, connecting with onward buses, ideally the TC1. Even if rails do return between Carmarthen and Aber-Y, the SDL would be needed to speed the trains to Cardiff. For those who don’t like the idea of bypassing Swansea, Arriva’s number 20 coach service, their replacment for the old X40 Cardiff – Swansea – Carmarthen – Aberystwyth TrawsCambria service, bypasses Swansea. Unlike the coach service though, use of the SDL must not be at the expence of frequency of Swansea services (though with direct express trains to Cardiff via the SDL the hourly Manchesters could be split, requiring a change at Swansea but without a reduction of frequency on either side).

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