Rhondda line

Coordinates: 51°36′03″N 3°20′37″W / 51.6009°N 3.3437°W / 51.6009; -3.3437
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Rhondda line
A pair of Arriva Trains Wales Class 142s at Treforest, with a Class 150 on the opposite line in the background.
OwnerTransport for Wales[1]
Rhondda Cynon Taff
TypeHeavy Rail
SystemNational Rail
Operator(s)Transport for Wales Rail
Rolling stockClass 150 DMUs
Line length23 miles 22 chains (37.5 km)[2]
Number of tracksSingle trackTreherbert to Porth with a passing loop at Ystrad
Double trackPorth to Cardiff
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Route map

(Click to expand)
Ton Pentre
Ystrad Rhondda
Dinas Rhondda
Treforest Estate
(closed Sundays)
Taffs Well
Cardiff Queen Street
Cardiff Central

The Rhondda line, also known as the Treherbert line,[3][4] is a commuter railway line in South Wales from Cardiff to Treherbert. The line follows the Merthyr line as far as Pontypridd, where it then diverges to continue along the Rhondda Valley.


The line is currently operated by Transport for Wales as part of the Valley Lines network. TfW replaced the previous franchise, Arriva Trains Wales in October 2018.

The first section of the line, as far as Pontypridd, is historically part of the Taff Vale Railway, from Cardiff to Merthyr Tydfil. At Pontypridd the Rhondda branch diverges and follows the course of the Rhondda Valley. It was single-tracked beyond Porth in the early 1980s, just prior to the commencement of the revival of the Valley Lines network. By 1986 a passing loop was constructed at Ystrad Rhondda station (itself newly built, with the original station of that name renamed Ton Pentre), to enable a half-hourly service to be introduced by British Rail. Another new station was opened at Ynyswen on the same day.

In March 2007 it was announced that platforms on the branch are to be lengthened to enable 6 car trains to run, together with leasing of an additional eight Class 150s for the whole network. This has been completed.

The line between Treherbert and Porth was closed between 21 and 24 January 2018 due to a landslip on the railway line. A replacement bus service ran whilst Network Rail cleared the line.[5]


The line currently has a half-hourly service Monday to Saturday daytime with services decreasing to hourly in the evening. On Sunday the current service is two-hourly. On 20 July, Arriva Trains Wales announced a summer trial of extra Sunday services to Cardiff and Barry Island. This was in response to a recent survey by Leanne Wood and the success of extra Sunday services on the nearby Merthyr Line and Rhymney Line.[6]

Electrification of the line[edit]

On 16 July 2012 plans to electrify the line were announced by the UK Government as part of a £9.4bn package of investment of the railways in England and Wales.[7]

The announcement was made as an extension of the electrification of the South Wales Main Line from Cardiff to Swansea and the electrification of the south Wales Valley Lines at a total cost of £350 million. The investment will require new trains and should result in reduced journeys times and a cheaper to maintain network. Work was expected to start between 2014 and 2019, but was then pushed back to between 2019 and 2024.[8][9]

However, as part of Welsh Government's South Wales Metro this line has been taken over,[10] and is now being electrified[11] in preparation for new Class 398 tram-train rolling stock.[12]

The line closed at the end of April 2023 to update the outdated signaling system.[4] The line reopened in late February 2024.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Impact of Core Valley Lines divestment on the Wales & Western region" (PDF). orr.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  2. ^ Yonge, John; Padgett, David (August 2010) [1989]. Bridge, Mike (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western (5th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. maps 22, 29A & 28B. ISBN 978-0-9549866-6-7.
  3. ^ Bryant, Chris (23 July 2019). "Chris Bryant on Twitter - "If only they were on the Treherbert line, eh?"". Twitter. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Treherbert Line Transformation | Transport for Wales". tfw.wales. Retrieved 13 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Stories".
  6. ^ "Extra Sunday services between Treherbert and Barry Island for the summer". Archived from the original on 22 July 2018.
  7. ^ Richard Westcott (16 July 2012). "BBC News – £9bn railway investment announced by coalition". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  8. ^ "Rail electrification to Swansea and south Wales valleys welcomed". BBC News. 16 July 2012.
  9. ^ "Cardiff And Valleys Station Upgrades". Network Rail. 16 May 2018. Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Impact of Core Valley Lines divestment on the Wales & Western region" (PDF). orr.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  11. ^ "Core Valley Lines Transformation | Transport for Wales". tfw.wales. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Transport for Wales: meet the fleet". Railcolornews. Retrieved 23 April 2022.
  13. ^ "Rhondda railway line to Treherbert to reopen in February". 21 December 2023. Retrieved 25 May 2024.

51°36′03″N 3°20′37″W / 51.6009°N 3.3437°W / 51.6009; -3.3437