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 Driver's view of the line

Photo:- Robert Davies:-"Of Time and The Railway"


This page updated 12th September 2020

SARPA is the local rail users group for the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth line running from the English border through Montgomeryshire to the coast of North Ceredigion and ending up in the increasingly important University (and Assembly administration ) town of Aberystwyth. We exist to preserve and promote the line so that there is a more sustainable transport system for future generations. SARPA is one of the more active rail user groups in Wales and are continually campaigning on various issues from train times and frequency to station maintenance and welcome any comments anybody has about the rail service in Mid Wales.

The Wales and Borders Franchise changed hands in October 2018 and the bid has been won by KeolisAmey. We look forward to working with the new operator, who run under the brand name "Transport for Wales".


Despite the issues caused by Covid-19, SARPA continues to function. We are continuing to lobby regarding the design of the new trains, answering consultations and so on. This includes the number of toilets on the trains, the number of carriages and seats on them and their fuel. I'm saddened that the situation has not changed at all since the publication of the last newsletter, but we are trying hard to change things. We have not met face to face since March, however the committee has continued to meet virtually online on a monthly basis. All our meetings will be online for the near future, including our Annual General Meeting, until it is safe for us to physically meet again. We are aware that this disenfranchises some of our members who do not have an internet connection or do not have the appropriate software to join the meetings, but we don't have much choice! So apologies to those of you who will be unable to attend the AGM this year.

A few days before I wrote this message, the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales announced that they are lifting the ban on non-essential train journeys, which is likely to increase usage of the line and which has been welcomed by a number of formerly-regular passengers along the line. Also, it is now mandatory to wear a face covering on the trains, social distancing measures are still in place on the trains and tickets have to be purchased before travel since there will be no onboard ticketing.

Stay safe, and remember to wear a mask if you're travelling by train.

Jeff Smith,
August 2020

You can see what we said about the railway industry in the past by clicking on this link to our archive page. We have archived all the newsletters back to November 2001.

Views expressed on the SARPA website are those of contributors and not necessarily representative of the Association and its Officers as a whole. Information provided is published in good faith, but the Association cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising therefrom.

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The Webmaster reserves the right to abridge or amend copy.

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Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth Rail Passengers Association (SARPA)
   c/o Arosfa,   7 Railway Terrace,  Heol y Doll,  Machynlleth,  Powys,  SY20 8BJ  Wales,  United Kingdom
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Website:- Angus Eickhoff