Welsh government take on electrification of Welsh Valley Lines

21 November 2014

After years of wrangling and argument between the Welsh and UK governments, a deal has finally been reached to allow the electrification of the Great Western Mainline to Swansea and the Valley Lines.

The deal sees the UK government paying for the work between Swansea and London and contributing £125m towards the electrifying the Valley Line. The additional cost of £463m is going to be met by reduced costs and increased revenues.

Work to Cardiff will be completed by 2017 with the additional mileage to Swansea completed a year later.

The work will mean journey times from both Merthyr Tydfiland Treherbert to Cardiff will reduce from just over an hour to around 50 minutes.

Additionally the Welsh Government will take control of the franchise, allowing ministers in Cardiff to decide who runs it and how.

General Secretary Mick Whelan said, “It’s good to see that an agreement has finally been reached on this extremely important work. Electrifying the line will make it quicker, more reliable and cheaper to run and will mean the environment benefits as well as passengers. It took far too long to come to this agreement but we hope the UK and Welsh government can work together to ensure there are no more delays.”

ASLEF also welcomed the franchise being brought under the control of the Welsh government. Mick added, “ASLEF worked with the Welsh Labour Party to establish a policy of a not-for-profit railway in Wales. Now the Welsh Government will take control of the franchise, we look forward to this policy becoming a reality and Wales having a railway working for the benefit of passengers, not shareholders.”

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