Scoping Study

Funded by the Welsh Government (£30,000) and carried out by AECOM, the Study brief was to provide Technical Advice setting out the issues to be considered under a full Feasibility Study into the re-opening of a heavy rail railway between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen, and a scope, programme and cost for that Study. It noted that over 97% of the 90 km original route remains undeveloped, with the most significant development at the northern (Aberystwyth) end. The core formation, including tunnels, embankments and bridges, generally remain intact. It noted that the original route would not necessarily be the optimum one, although it acknowledged that the topography of the area does not readily lend itself to alternative alignments. However, some divergence from the original route may be necessary to reduce environmental impacts, reduce costs, avoid areas of conservation and sites of scientific interest, and attract more patronage. The topography of the route would largely preclude widening the formation to two tracks and hence a single track line was envisaged.

With a number of uncertainties regarding the precise location of the route, it was only possible to give an indicative cost for the rebuilding of the line which could be up to £505 million (2015 prices). Land and consent costs could add a further £250 million bringing the total project costs to around £750 million. It was estimated that a full Feasibility Study could cost in the region of £350,000.