Bridge fiasco could close Porthmadog line until 2015

Published: 08:36PM Jan 1st, 2014
By: Chris Milner

FOLLOWING the cessation of train services between Harlech and Pwllheli that was imposed on November 4 after movement of the Victorian Pont Briwet viaduct was detected during the construction of a new viaduct, Network Rail has said there will be no further services until the construction work is complete. This means the line will be closed until 2015.  It had been hoped to restart services early in the new year.

Bridge fiasco could close Porthmadog line until 2015

The old bridge with the new construction site alongside. TREVOR WARNER

The RM emailed Gwynedd Council on December 23 asking for clarification of closure to 2015, but as of January 1, 2014, had received no reply.

Detailed examinations have now established that piling work in the river bed for the new crossing is significantly affecting the structural capability of Pont Briwet viaduct, making it impractical to run trains during the remainder of the construction works.

The new viaduct is costing £19.5million and is being built alongside the 1860 Grade II listed viaduct that carries a single track rail line and a single lane toll road over the River Dwyryd between Llandecwyn and Penrhyndeudraeth. The construction of the new bridge is being led by Gwynedd County Council with the construction contract awarded to Hochtief (UK). The scheme is jointly funded by Gwynedd County Council, Network Rail and the Welsh European Development Office.

With services suspended, Arriva Trains Wales will be running an amended timetable. All (northbound) services from Machynlleth will now terminate at Harlech. Coaches and minibuses will also take people on to stations towards Penrhyndeudraeth, Porthmadog, Criccieth and Pwllheli. Road transport will also be available to take passengers from these stations to connect with southbound trains that will start from Harlech.

Mark Langman, route managing director for Wales said: "We fully understand the inconvenience this will cause and we apologise for this. Following the examinations, we found that the only option to complete the new bridge was to keep the railway line closed until the new structure is in place. We will work closely with Gwynedd Council and its contractor so that the new bridge can be completed as soon as possible so that rail services can resume".

The extended closure will decimate the normal passenger traffic, and as the weather improves, the seasonal tourist traffic too, and this could have a knock-on effect on visitors to the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways.

Responses to “Bridge fiasco could close Porthmadog line until 2015”

Current Issue: July 2015

Issue July 2015

Rail Holidays: We show you where to go - 9-page guide
Leander joins LMS line-up as RM's Barrow Hill gala promises to be best yet
Nuneaton smash
: Now it can be told
Virgin unveils new-look HST
Statfold Readers' Day
Tornado in Scotland

PLUS:

Buy this issue now

• Next issue on sale: August 5, 2015

Issue 1372

Issue 1372
July 2015

Britain's best-selling rail title

Subscribe and get this issue

Other News

Guided busway plan threatens Abbey line future

Guided busway plan threatens Abbey line future

THE future of the Abbey Line, from Watford Junction to St Albans Abbey is under threat from the proposal of ...

Read More »

Striking ferry workers in second “Chunnel” blockade

STAFF from the ferry firm My Ferry Link, who are angry that the Eurotunnel Group has sold two ferries to ...

Read More »

View all...

Advertisements

Related magazines:

Heritage Railway magazine Rail Express magazine Old Glory magazine
 

Use our handy tool to find your nearest stockist!
Find your nearest Stockist

Read on-line as a digital issue:

Read on Android

Read on an iPad

Available on Pocket Mags

Advertising Deadline:

August 2015 issue - July 24, 2015
September 2015 issue - August 21, 2015

Book advertising here

Next Issue Out:

August 5, 2015