Electrification

The contemporary Railway scene in Wales.

Electrification

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:39 am

One of the many pleasures of belonging to the Circle is the opportunity to see so many photos relating to Wales' rich railway history. My personal interest is the Barry Railway and I am grateful to those many photographers in the early days who took the trouble to stand with their early photographic equipment and take the pictures on which I, among many others, rely today for my understanding of our companies' histories.

As many of you will no doubt know, the electrification of the line from Paddington to Swansea is due to begin soon and be completed by 2017, followed by the electrification of the Valley lines by 2020. These will be the first electrified lines in the history of Welsh railways; so there is an opportunity for us to be its witnesses, both for our own benefit and that of future generations.

To that end, the Circle committee has decided to launch an appeal for volunteers who would like to be part of a project documenting the electrification process as it happens. We are looking for anyone with suitable cameras to contact the Circle so that we can form a team to undertake this challenge. It is envisaged that the Circle committee will appoint a photographic coordinator, once the level of interest is known, to undertake organising the necessary work.

In the first instance could you contact me so that we can gain an idea of the degree of interest and support among our members.

Indoor Meetings Coordinator

indoormeetings@wrrc.org.uk
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Re: Electrification

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Fri Dec 20, 2013 11:45 pm

It has been suggested to me by a fellow member of the Circle that my claim that the future electrification of railways in South Wales being the first in our history is incorrect. In support of this, he cites the Swansea & Mumbles Railway which was electrified in 1928 and ran electric passenger services from 1929. While I can see his point of view, I can't see how I can agree with it. Whatever the name of the company, electrification brought with it the use of tramcars as were used in other urban systems, such as Cardiff. And if it looks like a tramcar and sounds like a tramcar then it is a tramcar and thus, in reality, is a tramway. There's little else to suggest that it was, after this date, a railway other than its history.
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Re: Electrification

Postby Newport_rod » Wed May 21, 2014 2:18 pm

If you’re planning to record the changes wrought by electrification it might be worthwhile noting that the following bridges are due for reconstruction – so you might want to photograph them before any changes
    Caldicot, Station Road
    Rogiet, Rogiet Road
    Undy, Church Road
    Undy, The Ramp
    Magor, Redwick Road
    Llandevenny, Llandevenny Road
    Newport, Somerton Road
    Newport, Chepstow Road B4591 (bridge under railway)
    Newport, Clytha Park Road
    Newport, Cardiff Road (A48)
    Cardiff, Trowbridge Road
    Cardiff, Mardy Road
    Cardiff, Beresford Road
    Cardiff, Splott Road
Source Western Mail http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/plan-rebuild-road-bridges-ahead-7070938
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Re: Electrification

Postby RichardHC » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:26 pm

Members might like to see the latest news on the South Wales main line and valleys network electrification proposals which have just appeared on the BBC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-30128378

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Re: Electrification

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Sat Nov 22, 2014 12:54 pm

Finally this long running saga has finally been resolved and we can all get on to looking to the future of Welsh railways and not just its past. For me, the more significant announcement is that responsibility for the Wales franchise will pass to the Welsh Government which means that it will be making the decisions on railway development from 2018 on. The campaign to reopen the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen has already received backing in principle, if somewhat guarded, from the First Minister. To quote:

"In principle, I would be supportive of considering the possibility of reopening the line. There are a number of problems, for example the permanent way is no longer there to the north of Carmarthen. There's a road there now. There are certain sections of the track where the Gwili is on part of the track, and there are areas where the track is totally gone. Lampeter, for example, one bridge disappeared south of Lampeter. So it wouldn't be a cheap option, but, to be ambitious, I do think that long-term, this is something that would benefit the area because I do know that there are a number of communities that would benefit from the reopening of the line."

So watch this space.
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Re: Electrification

Postby RichardHC » Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:11 am

This is the latest from the BBC on this project

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-30728002
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Re: Electrification

Postby clive » Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:33 pm

A very interesting piece on electrification in the Western Mail in their supplement from Stuart Cole, which puts the doubts about the scheme into context. Particularly if you add what the previous First Minister said only a week or so before. I liked what the previous First Minister said about trains pulling along a full tank of petrol or diesel, and the costs involved. It seems as if we have forgotten how to build railways. Things seem to have changed a bit since 1825.
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Re: Electrification

Postby Noel » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:40 pm

An inevitable decision, perhaps? Or just the consequence of the persistent 'stop-go' of political decision making on electrification?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40669869
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Re: Electrification

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:25 pm

Very little is inevitable these days in politics. But the cost of the line in England has overrun considerably meaning that the Westminster Government is not willing to provide the extra funds needed to honour their commitment. Very tellingly, the Secretary of State for Transport has been unavailable for interview all day to answer questions regarding his decision. The only way forward on this is for the National Assembly to have control over Network Rail's Wales Route.
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Re: Electrification

Postby dragonman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:18 am

I recall that the original WCML electrification was started at the Liverpool/Manchester end and extended over perhaps 6-7 years into London.

It is a pity that the GWML electrification was not started from Swansea in the first place, as then we would be guaranteed that it would be fully completed, rather than curtailed as now as too much money has been spent in England on cost overruns etc.
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