Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line

The contemporary Railway scene in Wales.

Re: Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line

Postby s.w.johnson » Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:04 pm

Railways are only a sensible transportation option when they connect to major areas of population, at least at one end. So the commuter lines into Cardiff make sense for example. Lines which serve areas of low population do not make money and so need significant subsidies. For instance the Heart of Wales line, has a very sparse service and really does not provide the level of service which makes travel easy. Aberystwyth has a population of around 13000 with 10000 students during term time. Not a large settlement. Carmarthen is roughly the same size. The intermediate towns are small. If you wish to improve communications in such an area, selective road improvements would be a much cheaper option (I am a civil engineer so have some knowledge of such things). The scoping report suggests a price of around £750 million to reopen the railway. It would be interesting to compare the benefit to Wales gained from spending such a sum from the other benefits which could be gained by spending it elsewhere within the country.
s.w.johnson
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:08 am

Re: Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Sat Jan 09, 2016 9:42 am

For one thing, the Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line has three university towns on its route: Aberystwyth, Lampeter and Carmarthen. Students are an important market for the railway industry as evidenced by the selling of the under-25 railcard. But your argument is that railway lines should only be commuter lines. But that is not the only reason for having a railway line. In the case of rural railways, they provide a social link between different communities in the area and connect rural areas with their regional centres. Aberystwyth and Carmarthen are two such centres. There is also the impact of railways on economic development. I don't have specific information regarding this line but if access to regional centres is available, then it lessens the need for rural depopulation and also facilitates tourism.

Your final point is not fully clear. When you say spend it elsewhere, do you mean on other railways or on other projects in general? This is an argument deployed in political debates usually to little effect; it is the opportunity cost argument. Think how many schools and hospitals we could build if we didn't have the Channel Tunnel and so on. This is a useful method when we are deciding on priorities i.e. which projects to put first. The difficulty is that if the sole criterion is economic benefit then the South East of Wales would win hands down everytime. Those who live in rural areas are just as much as entitled to railway investment as anyone else in the country providing a good case can be made for it. This is the process that is currently underway.

Regarding your point on road improvements, setting aside the current desire to get traffic off the roads to reduce global warming, not everyone has a car and bus services do not provide the same quality of service as do railways. In rural areas, trains can usually travel a lot faster than buses and thus make regional connectivity a more viable option.

There is also the issue of capital connectivity, how difficult/easy is it for the population of Wales to reach its capital city. The Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line would make it possible for a direct service from one of Wales' foremost university towns to the capital rather than the circuitous route endured via Shrewsbury at the moment.

The wider context is that West Wales has historically been an area of rural poverty and is currently an area of rural deprivation. If the railway can help to turn those particular situations around then I say go for it.
Y Twyn - Rheilffordd y Barri
User avatar
Rhobat Bryn
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:46 am
Location: Tredelerch, Caerdydd

Re: Aberystwyth to Carmarthen line

Postby Rhobat Bryn » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:25 pm

Y Twyn - Rheilffordd y Barri
User avatar
Rhobat Bryn
 
Posts: 214
Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:46 am
Location: Tredelerch, Caerdydd

Previous

Return to Welsh Railways today

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron