Passengers in south Wales could benefit from more services in the future as Network Rail is upgrading the River Ebbw railway bridge in Crumlin with the £5m upgrade starting next month.
The work, which will take place on weekends throughout September, involves replacing the current bridge deck, which is only capable of carrying a single railway track, with a new steel and concrete structure that will allow two-tracks to run across it.
Rail passengers and drivers using the A467 are urged to check before travelling as buses will replace trains and the road will be subject to traffic management for periods throughout the work.
Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Route Director for Wales and Borders, said: “Our railway continues to play a key part in our economic recovery as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. This investment in Crumlin is part of our wider plan to make improvements for the people of Wales, putting passengers at the heart of everything we do.
“We apologise in advance as our work will be disruptive for passengers and the local community, but upgrading the bridge is an important step towards increasing the frequency of trains on the line in future.”
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said:
“We welcome the commitment from Network Rail and the Department for Transport to take forward the replacement of this bridge. It is an important step on the journey towards increasing the number of trains on the Ebbw Vale line.
“Communities in and around Ebbw Vale should have a high quality and regular rail service, supporting jobs, investment and economic development as well as increasing access to social opportunities.
“We hope this will signal further investment on the line and will continue to work constructively with the UK Government in securing ongoing commitment and support.”
The work to improve the bridge is funded by the Department for Transport in support of the Welsh Government’s plans to run more trains on the Ebbw Vale line in the future.
As part of the wider Ebbw Vale Frequency Enhancement Scheme, five miles of additional track has been laid between Cross Keys and Aberbeeg. The bridge replacement at Crumlin is another important step towards enabling more services to run in future.
Network Rail are continuing to work with Transport for Wales to develop plans for other railway upgrades needed to increase train services on the Ebbw Vale line. This includes the completion of the track and station work, as well as integrating the project with Network Rail’s Park Junction Re-signalling scheme.
The main work to replace the bridge will take place in September, when there will be three full closures of the railway on the following dates:
- From 00.50 on 4 September to 05.40 on 7 September
- From 00.50 on 12 September to 05.40 on 14 September
- From 00.50 on 19 September to 05.35 on 28 September
Transport for Wales will run buses to keep passengers moving between Ebbw Vale Town and Newbridge stations. Passengers are advised to check before travelling.
To protect the safety of the public and workers, there will be temporary traffic management in place on the A467, next to the River Ebbw railway bridge, so that Network Rail can temporarily position a crane there.
- From 10 August to 18 September: single lane closure on the A467
- From 18 September to 28 September: daytime traffic lights with single lane closure and full night-time closure on the A467
- From 28 September to 18 October: single lane closure on the A467