News from South Wales

Extract from Rail User Express  Sept. 2010.

The 17 mile Ebbw Vale line, re-opened  to passengers in 2008, has been a HUGE success….take note anyone still doubting the justification & traffic potential for reopening the Northern part of the former Waverley main line route from Edinburgh to Galashiels/Tweedbank.

The Welsh Assembly Government is increasingly supportive of rail schemes after the reopened Ebbw Valley line met its five-year target of carrying a million passengers in ONLY 18 months!

Network Rail is now progressing schemes to extend the Ebbw Valley line into Ebbw Vale town centre and also allow trains to run direct between the existing Ebbw Vale Parkway terminus and Newport, in addition to those already running to Cardiff.

– Transport Briefing 8/10

2 thoughts on “News from South Wales

  1. Ebbw Vale very much echoes the Scottish experience, such as:

    Laurencekirk (re-opened 2009) was used by 60,000 passengers in its first year of operation, compared to the forecast 36,000

    Alloa (2008) has 400,000 passengers annually, compared to a forecast of 155,000

    Larkhall (2005) was by 2008 being used by 40% more passengers than originally forecast

    Beauly (2002) has similarities to Stow, being a small wayside station – and is now carrying around 60,000 passengers annually (four times the original forecast traffic).

  2. Peter Smaill says:

    i should look more closely at the population to passenger ratios on the Ebbw Vale line. You will discover that the initial forecast numbers were much. much more conservative than the Borders forecasts (as subsequently destroyed by the consultants Cyril Sweett). Ebbw Vale was an existing freight line with a total cost far below that of Borders and less engineering risk!

    Year 1 Borders project 2m trips with 16.7% coming from Gala/Tweedbank. Not likely given the Airdrie-Bathgate numbers for new stations, and in any case seriously loss making given the huge running costs of a 25 mile stretch.

    So always and on any measure Borders is a poor proposition and needs to be redesigned. Actual Ebbw Vale numbers reflect a similar total catchment for the whole Borders line but even the achieved numbers are well below the assumptions made in Scotland for the proposed Borders line. The inevitable skew in numbers – 83.3% coming from the 10 mile Gorebridge section – is a factor that cannot be ignored whatever the optimism bias, and the last 25 miles just cannot stack up in benefit:cost terms accordingly.

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