The railway lines north of Radyr in Wales have reopened after a successful three-week blockade to push forward with building the South Wales Metro.
With low passenger numbers due to COVID-19 restrictions in place across Wales, Transport for Wales (TfW) took the opportunity to close the Aberdare, Treherbert and Merthyr lines, so that its teams could work around the clock and progress with the South Wales Metro and essential track renewals.
Some of the key engineering achievements include re-railing over two miles of track, excavating over 700 hundred trial holes, replacing forty-six sleepers, installing forty-two metres of track drainage and over 2,600 meters of cable containment system.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport and North Wales said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to rail passengers and neighbours who have shown patience and understanding during this important work on the South Wales Metro. The South Wales Metro will transform lives and improve connectivity throughout South East Wales. It’s great that TfW have been able to take this opportunity of low passenger demand and push ahead with essential engineering and transformational work.
“Next month, the rail service will move into public ownership and one of our key reasons for this new model was to ensure work on the South Wales Metro continues and to provide confidence for those working on the project.”
Karl Gilmore, Rail Programme Director, Transport for Wales said: “We closed the railway north of Radyr for three weeks and our teams and partners have been working day and night to ensure we maximise this opportunity and continue with the next phase of the South Wales Metro.
“Our teams have progressed with re-railing and installing new track which in total is nearly four and a half miles. Following detailed ecological investigations, we’ve also cleared nearly 60,000 square metres of low-level vegetation that will allow us to move forward with our electrification plans for the South Wales Metro.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our teams and partners for their efforts over the past three weeks and also our passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience and understanding.”
The South Wales Metro will significantly improve connectivity throughout South Wales and provide access to jobs, leisure and other opportunities for the people of Wales, through unifying rail, bus and active travel routes.