Storm-battered Cambrian Line to reopen next month

A storm-damaged section of the Cambrian Line in mid-Wales is being repaired, and Network Rail is hoping to reopen the route in the first week of April. Three major storms in quick succession in February washed away ballast over an 800m stretch near Welshpool, and Network Rail engineers have rebuilding the foundations of the line in no fewer than 33 places.

Additional funding of £2 million has been allocated to protecting the damaged section from more storms in future. Apart from rebuilding the track and its foundations, engineers will also bring in more than 5,000 tonnes of rock armour to strengthen the embankments. Another 10,000 tonnes of other materials will also be needed, and this will be brought to the worksite along a temporary 700m access road.

Until the line can reopen, buses will continue to replace trains between Shrewsbury and Newtown. Network Rail’s route director for Wales & Borders Bill Kelly said: ‘Climate change is happening here and now so building a more resilient railway is a top priority. We know the Cambrian Line is a social and economic lifeline for the communities it serves. Building on our work to raise black bridge near Machynlleth and our £30 million investment at Barmouth Viaduct, we’re committed to protecting the future of this vital transport link.’

GB Railfreight and Porterbrook to build 50 wagons for intermodal freight

GB Railfreight and rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook have announced that 50 new Greenbrier box wagons are to be built. The companies are responding to predictions that intermodal rail freight volumes will increase by 10 per cent between now and 2034, while construction traffic is expected to increase by up to 35 per cent over the same period.