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Vale of Glamorgan

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Rail campaigners were delighted in June 2005 when a passenger rail service came back to the Vale of Glamorgan for the first time in 41 years.

Regular services now run between Bridgend and Barry and then along existing track into Cardiff.

The final work was completed in the summer to allow 18 miles of the Vale of Glamorgan line to reopen to passenger trains.

Arriva Trains Wales now serve two reopened stations -– Rhoose, for Cardiff International Airport, and Llantwit Major.

The Welsh Assembly supported the £17million project and the line was officially opened by Transport Minister Andrew Davies.

A shuttle bus runs to the terminal, seven minutes away from Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station.

Freight trains continued to travel to Aberthaw power station and Ford’s motor plant near Bridgend after regular passenger services were withdrawn in 1964.

The line was also used for diversions when there was work on the Great Western main line, west of Cardiff.

The reopening work included some new track and extra signalling to increase capacity.
Extra safety measures were implemented at the pedestrian crossings, and at Bridgend a bay platform was reinstated.

“The Ford train operates at night so most of the work was done during the day,” said Network Rail manager Dave White.

At the reopening, Mr Davies said it was “a historic day for transport in Wales. The restoration of passenger services to the Vale of Glamorgan after 40 years represents a major milestone in the delivery of an efficient and integrated transport infrastructure for Wales.”

He added that the airport terminal was on the wrong side of the airport for the railway station.

“To change that would be huge expense but obviously we will be working with the airport to improve services,” he said.

Clive Williams, the director of the Rail Passengers Committee Wales, said he was delighted at the service. “The committee has always been an advocate for integrated transport, and the provision of a bus link between Rhoose station and the airport terminal is a major step towards achieving that integration,” he said.

Graeme Bunker, managing director of Arriva Trains Wales, said the line was great news for the local community and for people travelling to the airport.

Councillor Tom Williams, chair of the South East Wales Transport Alliance (Sewta), said it was “a good start” on improvements which could offer practical alternatives to the car.

To mark the reopening, Railfuture staged its rail reopenings conference in Barry on Saturday 2 July 2005.

The Rail Reopenings Conference was sponsored by Angel Trains, Arriva Trains Wales, First Group and Cardiff International Airport.


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