Our plan calls for the two phase development of rail links through west Wales. While the population of the region may be low, diagnosis the benefits would be great and through linking the three east-west routes of the Welsh railway network would bring benefits to the whole of Wales. As well as local traffic, thumb travel between south, west, mid and north west Wales would be significantly enhanced bringing wide economic and social benefits. The proposals will also create a north-south route wholly within Wales, connecting the nation and providing a useful diversionary route for both passenger and freight trains.
Phase 1 calls for a new railway between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth. This would involve around 60 miles of new and re-built railway with stations serving major communities on route such as Pencader/Llandysul, Llanybydder, Lampeter, Tregaron and Llanilar – all with park and ride facilities. This would be coupled with work on the Swansea District Line and a new station at Morriston to support a fast, direct train service between Cardiff – Carmarthen – Lampeter – Aberystwyth. This would give competitive journey times of:
- Aberystwyth – Cardiff 3 hours
- Lampeter – Cardiff 2 hours 15 minutes
- Aberystwyth – Carmarthen 1 hour 30 minutes
The Carmarthen – Aberystwyth train could be combined with a Milford Haven or Fishguard service between Cardiff and Carmarthen, and could be extended to Machynlleth for connections up the Cambrian Coast Line. services would be hourly.
Most of the original line is not built on and so could be re-used where appropriate, however where there has been development and where a new alignment would allow for faster speeds, a new course would need to be built.
Phase 2 calls for 25 miles of new and re-built railway between Afon-Wen on the Cambrian Coast Line and Bangor, coupled with incremental improvements along the Cambrian Coast line to improve journey times. The current Machynlleth – Pwllheli service would be formed of 2 trains which would divide at Afon-Wen with portions for both Pwllheli and Bangor via Caernarfon. This would provide a train service every 2 hours to link mid and north west Wales, with a more frequent local service between Bangor and Porthmadog. While some of the Bangor to Afon-Wen line has been lost to road developments, significant stretches are still clear and the geography of the area allows for a new alignment to be built where needed.
The Cardiff – Bangor journey along the western route would not be a quicker route than the current service via Shrewsbury, but many intermediate journeys would be significantly speeded up. Journeys such as Aberystwyth – Swansea, Lampeter – Machynlleth and Pwllheli – Bangor become possible in a way which they are not at present.
Train services would be provided by modern diesel railcars of the type already in use by Arriva Trains Wales. they would feature air-conditioning, reserved seats, a trolley service, toilets, bike storage and wi-fi to appeal to students, commuters, leisure and business travellers.