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The Gwili Railway thread

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Matt78, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    I've done the journey a few times, it does take a while, but is it a huge problem; are there hordes of people all trying to make the journey? From my recollection the roads were not desperately busy.
    In addition, this link would only get you to mid Wales, the largest town being Aberystwyth, getting to North Wales would involve more reconstruction or a ride on the Ffestiniog :)
     
  2. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    Well there are many university students in Aberystwyth. The argument is, however the lack of good transport has stunted the regions growth and led to young people leaving the area.

    Tom
     
  3. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    Unfortunately there is no easy way North to South due to the geography. It's no coincidence there is no big road thought the middle of Wales. I would say however that the works being done on the Aber - Porthmadog section of road has made and will continue to make a big difference 20-30 mins plus .
     
  4. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    Also Aber already has a good rail connection. The only university students missing out are the ones in lampeter, everyone else is still on the network.
     
  5. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    The feasibility however for young people to commute to places in south Wales and for Businesses to attract customers from south wales has left some areas isolated. The money needs to be spent and I think a road would be of more value first.

    Tom
     
  6. JWKB

    JWKB New Member

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    But that's what there doing. They have transformed the route from North to South. Whilst not a dual carriage way it is a vast improvement on what was there even ( years ago
     
  7. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not convinced about the merits of re opening aside from the romance factor, as has been pointed out it still won't achieve a route from south to north in full.

    You have to look at the attempt to run the Cardiff train from North Wales to gauge demand for a north to south link. Not sure of the timings but I fail to see how a North Wales to Cardiff trip via Carmarthen would shave off much in the way of timings.

    The issue in Wales is that the most economically prosperous area is limited to a patch around Cardiff and the M4 corridor. For North and mid Walians getting to and forging links with this area is a major issue and I don't think reopenning the Carms to Aber line will change this.

    If there is a strong economic case in wales for opening then it all makes sense but I haven't seen it yet.

    Regards

    Matt
     
  8. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    And there you meet another issue; the economically prosperous areas for North Wales are the Chester/Liverpool/Manchester areas, not Cardiff, and there are already good rail and road links to those places.
     
  9. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly - one of the main reasons why east - west links in Wales are so strong and at the expense of north- south links.
     
  10. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    Many would argue the reason why these places have not developed economically to the same extent is because of the lack of transport links.

    Tom
     
  11. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Which places are you referring to and transport links to where??!! :s
     
  12. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    Well for instance Mid Wales, there are few jobs, ageing population, young people moving out, road links can help this situation! Anyway its the Gwili thread haha.

    Tom
     
  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    See, even the pensioners are angry! ;)
     
  14. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    This would have been one reason not to close both the Carmarthen to Aber line and the Mid Wales line in the 60's - however enconomically Wales and the rest of the UK has changed since then with the changes in industry in the 70's/80's being now irreversible. If the reliance is now on east to west with supply and demand focused on these links then it is going to take something special (probably a lot more than just opening Carms to Aber) to change this.
     
  15. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Ah, my post was about North Wales, which already has good(ish) rail links to the commercial areas.
     
  16. Felix Holt

    Felix Holt Guest

    The points about south-east Wales are important. A link from Aber needs to go not to Carmarthen but to Cardiff. This would need new formation from Strata Florida to join a reopened north-south line at Newbridge-on-Wye or Builth Road, down to Merthyr and then to Cardiff. Of course, then the Brecon Mountain Rlwy is affected....!
     
  17. jamesd

    jamesd New Member

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    Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth are both about 115 miles from Cardiff. Cardiff to Shrewsbury takes approx two hours by train so any new route from Aber to Cardiff should be able do the journey in about the same time. At the moment it takes 1 hour to get by train from Cardiff to Merthyr and I can't think of any possible route from there that could get you to Aber in 1 hour.

    As much as I like railways I can't think of any practical reason why money should be spent on building a North South Wales link. As someone who travels between South and Mid Wales regularly I would appreciate a Motorway far more.

    To bring it back on topic, I think the Gwili is very safe in it's endeavours.
     
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  18. thb17

    thb17 New Member

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    Before long the gwili will be through llanpumsaint and relaying track through pencader tunnel! Few bridges on the way mind.
     
  19. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Well I think we have to open Abergwili Jtn first!

    Getting to Llanpumsaint would be great and would probably put us on the "must do" list. The 3 miles between Conwil and Llanpumsaint is pretty much free of any adjoining roads or properties, just a run through the countryside with the river not far away. Oh yes and the Railway Inn at Llanpumsaint is yards from the station, with Skanda Vale, a popular Hindu monastery not far away either, it is reckoned that 90k visit every year, would be great for a few to arrive by train!

    Regards

    Matt
     
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  20. John Stewart

    John Stewart Well-Known Member

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    A complete north-south route is probably unrealistic but Carmarthen to Aberystwyth alone could be sensible. As previous posters have pointed out the quality rail routes are east to west in accordance with the economic geography of Wales. The relationship of South Wales to the Bristol Channel / Gloucester area and thence to London is matched by that of North Wales to Chester, Merseyside and Manchester. The link from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury and the West Midlands is weaker but it is there. Aberystwyth is remote from Cardiff and Swansea by rail. Despite the tortuous alignment of the old route its reconstruction to modern geometrical standards could achieve the speed profile improvement that is coming in the Borders Railway. Certainly 1.5 hours from Carmarthen would be possible, giving a reasonable journey to Swansea which would I think be the easier choice for a "big city shopping" destination. For the determined, northward continuation via a change at Machynlleth (or even a weather-proofed Dovey Junction) would be available.

    As for the Gwili, I would have thought that peaceful co-existence would be negotiable on the lines of the NYMR running to Whitby. If our closed railways do become re-opened more seriously, some preserved lines might be displaced. The ones most at risk would probably be the Lavender Line and the Waverley Route Heritage Association but not I think the Gwili. I wouldn't be keen on new alignments apart from very localised ones to avoid obstructions. Once one thinks in terms of a new route there is public opposition to "carving up the countryside". This was largely absent with the Borders Railway and would I think be likewise absent if the railway between Okehampton, Tavistock and Bere Alston were rebuilt.
     
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