Part of flood-damaged Welsh branch line reopens today
TRAINS are running once again on the Conwy Valley line in north Wales. The branch from Llandudno Junction was closed on 16 March after serious floods caused by Storm Gareth had damaged more than 9km of the route, including Dolgarrog station, ten level crossings and nine culverts. The floods were made worse by a high tide. Network Rail said it had been working with its contractors Alan Griffiths to restore services on part of the route today between Llandudno Junction and Llanrwst North, and the rest onwards to Blaenau Ffestiniog on 24 July. Dolgarrog station will stay closed for now, however, because repairs to the flood-damaged platform are not yet complete. Apart from Dolgarrog, the line will be fully open in good time for the National Eisteddfod in Llanrwst between 3 and 10 August. Network Rail has taken the opportunity to upgrade the line by increasing the line speed through Maenan, between Dolgarrog and Llanrwst North, from 30 to 45mph (48 to 72km/h). The speed restriction through Maenan had existed since this part of the line was damaged by previous floods in the 1980s. Services on the line have often been disrupted by bad weather. For example, it was closed for three months in early 2004 by floods between Tal-y-Cafn and Betws-y-Coed and, more recently, for seven weeks from late December 2015 and again between February and April 2017.
Waterloo back to normal after fire
SERVICES at London Waterloo are reported to be running well this morning, after a lineside fire near the terminus caused major disruption last night. Signal cables were damaged, although the blaze itself had not started on railway property. Platforms 16 to 24, some of which are in the former international terminal, were closed shortly before last night’s rush hour, and some passengers were advised to use alternative routes. The destinations affected included Windsor and Reading.