Photo:- Robert Davies:-"Of Time and The Railway"
THE SHREWSBURY - ABERYSTWYTH RAIL PASSENGERS' ASSOCIATION WELCOMES YOU TO THEIR WEBSITE
This page updated 19th January 2023
SARPA is the local rail users group for the Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth
running from the English border through Montgomeryshire to the coast of
Ceredigion and ending up in the increasingly important University (and
Welsh Government administration
) town of
Aberystwyth. We exist to preserve and promote the line so that there is a
transport system for future generations. SARPA is one of the more active
user groups in Wales and we are continually campaigning on
various issues from train times and frequency to station maintenance. We
welcome comments from anybody about the rail service in Mid Wales.|
Transport for Wales rail services were brought under Welsh Government control from February 2021. The takeover from KeolisAmey has taken place with day-to-day services now run by a publicly-owned company. This follows significant falls in passenger numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
KeolisAmey will continue to be involved in operations, particularly in the South Wales region.
However, all is not well and the current dire state of Transport for Wales rail services, not only on the Cambrian but elsewhere across Wales and the Borders, was feared by some as the outcome of the Welsh Government getting its hands on control over day to day rail provision. The consensus is that the service provided is currently at its worst in living memory, worse than the maligned Arriva Trains Wales operation, worse than Central Trains and worse than British Rail's later post sprinterisation years. For all the bluster of a world class Wales and repeated use of phrases like Metro and embarking on journeys; the actual journeys that the public in Wales are finding on their rail network at the end of 2021 are very different.
We really do hope that the effort is made to effect a real improvement.
As we enter what appears will be the last full year of Class 158s working on the Cambrian,
SARPA has been busy, lobbying politicians and questioning Transport for Wales
regarding their plans for the line, as well as matters currently affecting the line.
We are continuing to apply pressure regarding reliability of service on the Cambrian
and in our December meeting Elin Jones, Member of the Senedd for Ceredigion, joined
us in our Aberystwyth meeting to hear our concerns. We are very grateful for her support
and we of course work with politicians of all parties in order to keep up pressure on the
Welsh Government and Transport for Wales.
Recently, further strengthening work has been undertaken on Barmouth Bridge. SARPA supports this work, which is very important for the future of the line. We were also very pleased to see that a shuttle rail service was in operation between Harlech and Pwllheli, with buses between Harlech and Machynlleth. This is similar to what we had been calling for for a long time. However, the buses and trains didn't connect well and passengers travelling between stations north of Harlech and stations east of Machynlleth (or vica versa) often had to wait for an hour and a half after travelling on the bus. We have therefore asked Transport for Wales about improving the arrangements for the next time this happens (further work will be carried out this year).
Recently, Transport for Wales have been consulting on the proposed timetables for December 2023 onwards. Overall, the proposed timetable looks better than expected. There will be an hourly service at least from some time in 2024 onwards - hopefully! We are also pleased to see that there will be so many through trains from the Coast Line to Birmingham International. However, some 2-car trains between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury will require strengthening to avoid overcrowding. There are also problems with connections between the Aberystwyth section of the line and the Coast Line at Dyfi Junction northbound (southbound connections are fine). We have therefore given feedback calling for improvements, whilst acknowledging that the proposed timetable is better than expected.
A happy new year to you all, and I'm looking forward to working together to ensure further improvements to the services on the Cambrian Lines.
Dr Jeff Smith, SARPA Chair
|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.|
Photographs used on the site are copyright of the photographers and should not be used without their permission by third parties.
The Webmaster reserves the right to abridge or amend copy.
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included in the text throughout this site are intended for the benefit and information of our visitors. We try to include links that will be helpful for the understanding of railway terminology. They do not constitute an endorsement or recommendation on our part. |
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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All Rights Reserved
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