One year old, and going strong. Fishguard Trains launched in April 2011, just days after Ieuan Wyn Jones’ astonishing volte face, only months after he dismissed the case for a proper rail service to Fishguard as “premature”. It could restore your faith in democracy to see how an election focusses politicians’ minds.
Once the media got over its surprise at the Minister’s U-turn, it ran the comedy tale of a rail service with no station. Fishguard, it seemed, was too far west for anything to work properly here.
But now, a year on, how things have changed. The trains are running (even National Rail Enquiries has finally noticed Fishguard and Goodwick), and clearly we use the services in growing numbers. You are as likely to bump into your neighbours on the train as in the Town Hall – and all without the benefit of a new station – yet. That is the second astonishing development in the past year: a rebuilt station, restored in style, with facilities for drivers, cyclists, disabled travellers and bus users. It will take a brave Minister in Cardiff Bay in two years time to pull the plug on all this.
Fishguard Trains has criticised the mistakes, shortcomings and missed opportunities. But we also praise the way stakeholders have grasped this opportunity, maybe not at the speed of Workington North, but faster than anyone here dared believe. We’re well impressed.
Meanwhile, Fishguard Trains has delivered what we set out to do: “Weâ€™ll support use of the new service, report its news, good and bad, give everyone a voice in its development” – That’s what we wrote on day one. Since then the stats show we’ve published 85 posts, you’ve contributed 463 comments, and the site has received 56,000 hits.
And now, on to year two – and this time, with a new station for all those trains. See you on board.