Sunday, August 17, 2008

Carno Station.

Been a busy weekend. No time for reading newspapers or blogging til now. I've just started a few weeks hectic political activity, and two of our sons, plus wives, plus Ffion have been with us for the weekend. And the video of Tim and Adrienne's wedding arrived Sat. morning and had to be viewed - all three hours of it.

Did go to Carno Show on Saturday though, and spent some time at the 'Re-open Carno Railway Station' stand. This has been a strange saga, without much common sense being applied. I'll try to explain the issue.

The Cambrian Line which runs between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury has always been limited to a two hourly service. There's enough demand to justify a one-hourly service, but this cannot happen because there is one stretch of track between passing places ( Welshpool and Talerddig) of over 30 minutes. Its the sort of 11+ question you'll have to work it out for yourself. The Carno case has been that by creating a 'passing loop' in the village and re-opening the station that Beeching closed, an hourly service would become feasible - because the train journey from Welshpool to Carno takes less than 30 minutes. Now, this 'solution' was declined by the Assembly Government last year. Instead, it was decided to extend the dual track at Welshpool all the way to Forden - in order that the stretch to Talerddig, where almost no-one lives (about three miles past Carno) will be reduced to 30 minutes. I'm told that this solution is no cheaper than re-opening Carno Station, which would have the added benefit of encouraging many more passengers onto the train.

Anyway, the campaign to re-open the station carries on. The Assembly Government's investment programme for the next five years is to be announced in a few weeks. This project needs to be included. I know it involves the Assembly Government actually making an investment in Mid Wales! You may laugh, but I work on the theory that it must happen sometime. There is a need for a cross party pressure group of Assembly Members to get onto the case.

UPDATE - Some comments are pointing out that there is a 'passing loop' at Newtown, midway between Welspool and Carno/ Talerddig. This is true but irrelevent in respect of the possible introduction of an hourly train service. To acheive this aim, it requires passing loops at roughly 30 minute intervals between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury to Welshpool to Talerddig/Carno to Dyfi Juction to Aberystwyth. Newtown does not fit into this timetable. The Assembly Government has decided that Carno is not the best fit either. In passing, this report published today emphasises the need for an hourly service.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

naughty glyn.
lots of inaccuracies in your story on carno
demand fro an hourly service? really, where exactly. The aber to brum line is packed, but mostly the shrewsbury to birminghma bit, see the loading figures.
no investment? new trains and extra trains in recent years and at a uk level the erdms trial which is good for the line.
Network Rail are the real villains in carno quoting ridiculous costs for all there work, the station they insist would cost millions, in scotland there are some costing 3 to 400k.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - My post was heavily influenced by the Carno case as presented to me. Can't see exactly where you are disagreeing with whay I've published - and I'm keen to know if and where I'm wrong.

We did agree in out discussions yesterday that the suggested cost of the new extended platform that would be needed to re-open seem ridiculously high

John B said...

Glyn

Isn't there a passing loop in Newtown Station? Wouldn't it be better to re-open Cemmaes Road station as it would have a bigger catchment area than Carno station, which is only a few miles from Caersws station

Alison said...

Firstly - can't trains pass @ Newtown. There's two tracks at the station.

Secondly, two carriages are sometimes full at Caersws (where I get on/off). It can get packed beyond Shrewsbury, and I mean where the aisle is just full of standing passengers. This is not the full one would hope for.

The frequency of trains does matter, believe me its no fun waiting for under 2 hours at Shrewsbury or Birmingham for a connection. (It frequently happens, because of delays elsewhere on the network).

For the record, I don't live in Carno - a station there doesn't make much personal difference to me (I live in Llanidloes), so no vested interest. However, if the Welsh Assembly etc is serious about a green strategy then an extra station at Carno makes sense.

Glyn Davies said...

John B and Alison - see update on the post