Rail transport in Cardiff

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Rail transport in Cardiff has developed to provide connections to many other major cities in the United Kingdom, and to provide an urban rail network for the city and its commuter towns in South Wales. Today, there are three train operating companies in Cardiff: Arriva Trains Wales, First Great Western and CrossCountry.

Railways in Central Cardiff
To Rhymney
To Coryton
Heath Low Level/High Level(Interchange)
To Pontypridd
Llandaf
Cathays
Danescourt
Fairwater
Waun-Gron Park
To Bridgend
Cardiff Queen Street(Interchange)
Ninian Park
To Newport and England
Cardiff Central(Interchange)
Cardiff Riverside
Canal Parade goods depot
Bute West docks
Bute East docks (Atlantic Wharf)
East Moors depot
Cardiff Bay
Grangetown
Roath docks
Cardiff Bay quayside
Queen Alexandra docks
Penarth Flats docks
Penarth Moors docks
To Barry and Rhoose Cardiff Airport
To Penarth

Services to/from Cardiff[edit]

Arriva Trains Wales[edit]

National
Regional
Local

These services operate on the Valley Lines network - an urban rail network centred on Cardiff that connects it to its commuter towns in South East Wales:

First Great Western[edit]

National
Regional

CrossCountry[edit]

National

Stations in Cardiff[edit]

All 20 railway stations in Cardiff are owned by Network Rail and managed by Arriva Trains Wales which also operates all train services at these stations, with the exception of Cardiff Central which is also served by CrossCountry and First Great Western. The stations form part of Cardiff's commuter rail network, colloquially known as Valley Lines

Cardiff Central[1] and Cardiff Queen Street are the main hubs of the city and are the two busiest stations in Wales.

Cardiff Central is one of the United Kingdom's major railway stations, providing connections to Newport, Bristol, Bath, London, Southampton, Portsmouth, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Birmingham and Nottingham. It is located in the south of the Cardiff city centre

Cardiff Queen Street is the hub of the Valley Lines network, with all lines running through the station. It is located in Cardiff's eastern city centre.

Station Area Station Code Platforms 07/08 Entry/Exit (millions) Year opened Lines Image
Birchgrove
Llwynbedw
Birchgrove BCG 1 0.019 1929 Coryton Line BirchgroveRailwayStation.jpg
Cardiff Bay
Bae Caerdydd
Butetown
Cardiff Bay
CDB 1 0.519 1841[2] Butetown Branch Line CardiffBay-lookingsouth-01.jpg
Cardiff Central
Caerdydd Canolog
Cardiff city centre CDF 7 9.875 1850 Cardiff City Line
Coryton Line,
Ebbw Valley Railway
Maesteg Line,
Merthyr Line
Rhondda Line
Rhymney Line
South Wales Main Line
Vale of Glamorgan Line
Cardiff Central railway station concourse - 01.jpg
Cardiff Queen Street
Caerdydd Heol Y Frenhines
Cardiff city centre
Adamsdown
CDQ 3 2.486 1840 Butetown Line
Coryton Line
Merthyr Line
Rhondda Line
Rhymney Line
British Rail Class 143 trains.jpg
Cathays
Cathays
Cathays
Cardiff University
CYS 2 0.509 1983 Merthyr Line
Rhondda Line
Cathays railway station.jpg
Coryton
Coryton
Coryton
Pantmawr
Whitchurch
COY 1 0.266 1911 Coryton Line Coryton railway station.jpg
Danescourt
Danescourt
Danescourt
Llandaff North
DCT 2 0.065 1987 City Line Danescourtstation1.jpg
Fairwater
Tyllgoed
Fairwater FRW 2 0.026 1987 City Line Fairwater railway station in 2009.jpg
Grangetown
Grangetown
Grangetown
Leckwith
GTN 2 0.125 1882 Vale of Glamorgan Line Grangetown railway station 1.jpg
Heath High Level
Lefel Uchaf y Mynydd Bychan
Heath
Cyncoed
HHL 2 0.311 1915 Rhymney Line Heath High Level railway station in 2009.jpg
Heath Low Level
Lefel Isel y Mynydd Bychan
Heath
Cyncoed
HLL 1 0.041 1911 Coryton Line Heath Low Level railway station.jpg
Lisvane and Thornhill
Llys-faen
Lisvane
Thornhill
LVT 2 0.152 Rhymney Line Lisvane and Thornhill Station.jpg
Llandaf
Llandaf
Llandaff North
Gabalfa
Whitchurch
LLN 2 0.346 Merthyr Line
Rhondda Line
Llandaf railway station in 2009.jpg
Llanishen
Llanishen
Llanishen LLS 2 0.179 Rhymney Line
Ninian Park
Parc Ninian
Leckwith
Ninian Park
Canton
NNP 2 0.035 1987 City Line Ninian Park railway station.jpg
Radyr
Radyr
Radyr
Morganstown
RDR 3 0.413 1863 Merthyr Line
Rhondda Line
City Line
Radyr railway station.jpg
Rhiwbina
Rhiwbina
Rhiwbina RHI 1 0.027 1911 Coryton Line Rhiwbina railway station.jpg
Ty Glas
Tŷ Glas
Llanishen
Heath
TGS 1 0.061 1987 Coryton Line Ty Glas railway station in 2009.jpg
Waun-Gron Park
Parc Waun-Gron
Fairwater
Canton
WNG 2 0.026 1987 City Line Waun-Gron Park railway station.jpg
Whitchurch
Yr Eglwys Newydd
Whitchurch WHT 1 0.006 1911 Coryton Line Whitchurch (Cardiff) railway station looking west in 2009.jpg

Railway lines[edit]

The rail network within and around Cardiff

These are the main rail lines that serve Cardiff. Most of the lines are Cardiff commuter lines that form the city's urban rail network.

South Wales Main Line[edit]

Main article: South Wales Main Line

The South Wales Main Line is a branch of the Great Western Main Line from London Paddington. It diverges from the main line near Swindon, first passing through Bristol Parkway and continuing through the Severn Tunnel to Cardiff via Newport. The line contiunes from the city towards West Wales. There are plans to electrify the line between Cardiff and London.[3]

Butetown Line[edit]

The Butetown Line is a short line running from Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay. Rail services call only at those stations with a frequency of every 12 minutes.

Cardiff City Line[edit]

The Cardiff City Line is entirely within Cardiff running to its western suburbs. The line terminates at Radyr, after calling at Ninian Park, Waun-Gron Park, Fairwater and Danescourt. Rail services run to Cardiff Central and Queen Street every 30 minutes, and usually continue on the Coryton Line.

Coryton Line[edit]

The Coryton Line is entirely within Cardiff running to its northern suburbs. The line terminates at Coryton, after calling at stations in Heath, Llanishen, Birchgrove, Rhiwbina and Whitchurch. Rail services run to Cardiff Central and Queen Street every 30 minutes, and usually continue on the Radyr Line.

Ebbw Valley Railway[edit]

The Ebbw Valley Railway was re-opened to passenger rail services in February 2008. The line provides an hourly service between Cardiff Central and Ebbw Vale Parkway. The line follows the South Wales Main Line eastbound out of Cardiff before diverging north and calling at Rogerstone, Risca and Pontymister, Crosskeys, Newbridge and Llanhilleth.

Maesteg Line[edit]

The Maesteg Line runs from Cardiff to Maesteg in Bridgend County Borough. The line follows the South Wales Main Line through the Vale of Glamorgan until Bridgend, calling at minor stations which are not served by high speed services. The line then diverges northwards through Sarn and Tondu. Services run every hour to and from Cardiff, often extending to Cheltenham Spa.

Merthyr Line[edit]

The Merthyr Line runs northward out of Cardiff, calling at stations in the suburbs of Cathays, Llandaff and Radyr, where it connects with the City Line. It continues into Rhondda Cynon Taff, through Taffs Well, Treforest and Pontypridd. Frequencies on this stretch of the line are usually every 15 minutes.

After calling at Abercynon, the line splits into two branches; one to Merthyr Tydfil via Merthyr Vale and another to Aberdare via Mountain Ash. Frequencies are every 30 minutes on both branches and often link up with Vale of Glamorgan Line services to Barry Island or Bridgend via Rhoose Cardiff International Airport.

Rhondda Line[edit]

The Rhondda Line is a line that runs north from Cardiff through the Rhondda Valley to Treherbert. The line is shared with the Merthyr Line until Pontypridd. From there, the line diverges through Porth, Tonypandy and Treorchy amongst others.

Services run every 30 minutes and often continue through Cardiff onto the Vale of Glamorgan Line to Penarth or Barry Island.

Rhymney Line[edit]

The Rhymney Line is another line that runs northwards from Cardiff and calls at stations in the city suburbs of Heath, Llanishen and Lisvane before continuing to Caerphilly and places such as Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed and Bargoed.

Services on this stretch of line run every 15 minutes. Every hour, trains continue on the rest of the line to Rhymney. Trains often continue through Cardiff onto the Vale of Glamorgan Line to Penarth.

Vale of Glamorgan Line[edit]

The Vale of Glamorgan Line is a line that runs from Cardiff through the largely rural county of the Vale of Glamorgan to Bridgend. The line comprises three branches. Trains call at Grangetown in Cardiff before continuing on the main line to stations in Dinas Powys and Barry, or diverging onto a branch serving Penarth. After Barry, services can either continue again to Rhoose Cardiff International Airport, Llantwit Major and Bridgend or diverge to Barry Island.

Frequencies to Penarth or to Barry Island are every 15 minutes, and to Bridgend via Cardiff Airport are every hour. Train services often continue after Cardiff Queen Street on the Merthyr, Rhondda or Rhymney Lines.

Main destinations[edit]

There are direct services from Cardiff Central to the following destinations, with the average scheduled journey time:

Train operators[edit]

Transport connections[edit]

Cardiff Central bus station with Central railway station in the background

Cardiff Central bus station is located next to Central railway station to form a main bus/rail interchange, with most Cardiff Bus services calling at or near to Central Station. Bus services also call at or near to Cardiff Queen Street station.[4] Some bus services in the city districts connect with local railway stations.[5]

The Free b city shuttle calls at Central Station every 10 minutes, linking key points of the city centre.

The Cardiff Waterbus towards Cardiff Bay stops at Taff Mead Embankment, near Central Station.

Taxi ranks are located outside Central Station, as is cycle parking which is also available at many other city stations.

Cardiff International Airport connects with the Cardiff rail network at Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station, from which free shuttle buses run to the departures terminal.

Future plans[edit]

The disused railway station in the St. Fagans area, in the west of the city, could be reopened to bolster transport links for a major Cardiff tourist attraction, under a proposal in March 2010 by former First Minister Rhodri Morgan AM and Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan, follow predictions that visitor numbers to the National History Museum could top one million a year by 2017. By 2012, further submissions will be made to try to secure £8.7m of funding towards the project.[6]

Network Rail is currently proposing adding an extra two platforms to both Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street station, and installing a light rail metro system in the city.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]