A West coast railway for Wales

This interesting video is from the excellent Syniadau blog. It maps out a route for a railway line linking the entire West Coast of Wales from Swansea to Llandudno via Aberystwyth. Aber features about nine minutes forty seconds into the twenty minute video. You can go straight to that point via the scroll bar.

The idea of a West coast line has been raised sporadically over the years since the old Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line closed, most notably by Friends of the Earth Cymru in 1998, but without really taking root. Clearly the current financial climate is not conducive to this kind of grand scheme but it would surely be cheaper than some of the road schemes we’ve seen. Some sections of the route are a bit far fetched (not least the Pen Dinas tunnel!) but I’m featuring it here because I like to keep the general idea of a West coast railway in the air.


  1. A excellent goal, if as you mention a little impractical in the current world order.

    Step 1 would be to continue the cycle path along all the parts of the old Manchester and Milford railway which has not been built on. I ran along the section from Llanfarian to Tregaron Bog a few months ago and once you get past Crosswood it becomes road which has serious objective risk for bikes or those on foot for some distance. I guess someone with some influence must have bought those sections of railway. It makes the cycle track close to unusable beyond Crosswood unless you have a high tolerance to being run over by a Hansons lorry.

    http://nationalrail.co.uk says Aberystwyth to Carmarthen takes just 6 hours 14 minutes. To Shrewsbury is 2 hours, 15 minute wait and then 4 hours 5 minutes to Carmarthen from Shrewsbury. A car journey is about an hour, so little chance of encouraging people out of their cars with the current option.

    I love the idea, but suspect we can get better far value from the investment dollar in other schemes.

  2. You're quite right about the part of the Ystwyth Trail between Crosswood/Trawsgoed and Penpompren. Most of the old railway line was subject to a Compulsory Purchase Order to create the path. However the Council Leader at the time arranged for this section to be left out of the Order at the request of local landowners, thus seriously comromising the viability of the path and losing money for the local economy. I very much hope this can be re-visited in the future.