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 Driver's view of the line

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


This page updated 24th January 2021

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 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 are to be brought under Welsh Government control from February 2021. Ministers have confirmed the takeover from KeolisAmey. with day-to-day services to be 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

We look forward with interest to the new venture.


Happy new year, or better new year as some people have been saying recently. It's impossible to write a message like this without mentioning the covid situation, and this has certainly affected each and every one of us through most of 2020. My sincere condolences to those of you who have lost someone. SARPA is no exception to the emergency and therefore we must continue to hold our meetings online until it is safe for us to meet face to face once again. I understand that it's not possible for everyone to join the meetings but we don't have a choice at the moment.

There is hope on the horizon with vaccines being dispensed; however there will also be challenges for the railways. Traffic levels decreased markedly during the pandemic and there are already suggestions that the UK government treasury will reduce rail service levels. Of course we will need to influence Welsh Government not to follow the same path but we also need to see rail traffic levels returning to normal when this is safe. Fortunately, it is possible that the Cambrian will suffer less than other railways due to so much leisure travel happening along the line: I certainly have a long list of places I would like to go to once I am free to roam once again. Besides, we will need to ensure a frequent and reliable rail service, holding Transport for Wales to their promise of introducing a full hourly service and keeping pressure up for changes to aspects of the new trains.

Despite every cloud, there have been some gains. As you will see later in the newsletter, Network Rail propose to carry out work on a number of bridges on the Cambrian Network, including Black Bridge (Pont Glantwymyn), one of the weakest links on the line. This will improve reliability and help to ensure a long term future for the Cambrian Lines.

Jeff Smith,
December 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.

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.

Please note that hyperlinks 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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