Train services resume on Conwy Valley line

Reporter:

Patrick Glover

Services have resumed between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog after the Conwy Valley Railway line was re-opened today.

The line has been closed since October 20 as Network Rail engineers carried out extensive repairs following recent Storm Brian and Ex-Hurricane Ophelia.

Damage was reported in the Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel, the longest of its kind in the UK, after a more than average rain fall for October caused more water to enter the tunnel than usual, damaging a structural pillar inside. 

Due to the extremely hard rock, natural features and natural water courses through the tunnel walls, Network Rail tunnel and mining specialists were drafted in for the repair work. 

Network Rail engineers and contract partners AMCO installed scaffolding within the tunnel to hold an estimated 28 tonnes of rock whilst the damaged pillar was dismantled and rebuilt.  

Essential repair work was also necessary on other parts of the line, near Glan Conwy and the Bertheos and Roman Bridge Tunnels.

Route programme manager for Network Rail in Wales and the Borders, Chris Howchin, said: “Our engineers worked 24/7 to repair the Blaenau Ffestiniog tunnel after damage caused by recent storms. 

“The Conwy Valley line is a vital link for local people and important for economic growth in the area, so we worked hard to reopen the railway as soon as it was safe to do so. 

“We worked closely with Arriva Trains Wales to keep passengers moving with rail replacement buses during the closure, and I would like to thank passengers for their patience while this essential repair work took place.” 

Lynne Milligan, Customer Services Director for Arriva Trains Wales added: “We are delighted that the line is now reopening for our customers and we thank them for their patience.

“Ultimately passenger safety is our first consideration so it was essential that these repairs be carried out.

“We have worked closely with our partners in Network Rail to ensure disruption to customers is kept to a minimum.”

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