Re-opening of Carmarthen-Aberystwyth rail link 'is not realistic'

First published in News

THE mayor of Llandovery says she fears a campaign to re-open the railway line between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth will be torpedoed by "phenomenal" costs.

But Cllr Gill Wright also expressed the hope that pupils attending Ysgol Bro Dinefwr at Ffairfach would be among those to benefit from an improved service on the Heart of Wales line.

Cllr Wright was responding to a request for support from Traws Link Cymru who want to see the re-opening of the Carmarthen-Aberystwyth line.

Llandovery town councillors have agreed to write a letter of support.

On their website, the campaign group say the closure of west Wales rail routes "was a mistake which should be put right.

"We need a rail link to boost the economy, protect the environment and connect the nation," they say.

But Cllr Wright said she feared such a proposal would be "impractical and unrealistic".

Speaking after Llandovery's town council's monthly meeting, she said: "So much of the land has been built on and the original route is no longer complete which would make it very difficult for anything to be put back.

"It would also cost a colossal amount of money to build new stations and install track – and Network Rail do not have anything in their plans for the next five years.

"In fact, I'm afraid they are having enough trouble financing improvements for existing lines."

But Cllr Wright – a community rail officer for the Heart of Wales line – said she was a staunch believer in a revived rail network and suggested that an improved service in the Towy Valley could provide transport for pupils of Ysgol Bro Dinefwr.

" More and more young people are unable to drive a car because of rising insurance costs," she said. "That's one of the reasons we are looking into the possibility of providing a better service on the Heart of Wales line which would certainly be of benefit to pupils from the northern end of the Towy Valley."

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