Plans for a new train station at Energlyn, in Caerphilly, have been revealed to the public.
The new station, between Aber and Llanbradach, could be built within three years. Last month Caerphilly Observer reported how the station – first mooted a decade ago – was back on the transport agenda, despite being scrapped by the Welsh Government last year.
However, the project is now a priority in the Welsh Government’s National Transport Plan.
Developed jointly by the Welsh Government, Network Rail, Caerphilly County Borough Council, SEWTA and Arriva Trains Wales, the new station will have two platforms with step-free access .
View Proposed location for new Energlyn Train Station in a larger map
Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail Wales said: “This proposal is driven by a vision to transform the railway in Wales and, once delivered, will bring a huge benefit for Energlyn.
“Support from the people of the town is vital to make this possible, so we urge the public to share their views and comments with us today. Energlyn has seen a steady increase in passenger demand over the years and the proposed new station will cater for this growth and encourage sustainable travel, whilst improving the environment and socio-economics of the area.”
Network Rail is holding a public exhibition showing off the plans on February 9.
The drop-in event will be held between 4pm and 8pm at Plasyfelin Primary School, Lewis Drive, in Churchill Park.
The event will provide an opportunity for the community to give their feedback on the proposed work and speak to Network Rail and Arriva Trains Wales.
An Arriva Trains Wales spokesman said: “We welcome the news of potential investment in the Energlyn area. We believe that this may have a really positive impact in serving this growing community.
“We encourage any of those who may benefit to come along and have a look at the proposals. Public engagement such as this will undoubtedly help Network Rail and their partners ensure this is a really successful potential project.”
In March 2011 the Welsh Government, then a coalition between Plaid and Labour, dropped plans for the station blaming spending cuts by the UK Government.
The proposed new station will be equipped with disabled parking spaces, drop-off point, CCTV, waiting shelters, ticket machines, bicycle storage area, emergency help points and digital boards providing real-time train information.
A grant from the Welsh European Funding Office is being looked into for funding the station and the feedback from the exhibition, say Network Rail, will be vital to help support this application process.
Assembly Members Jeff Cuthbert and Lindsay Whittle both welcomed the new station when Caerphilly Observer reported about it last month.
South Wales East Plaid Cymru AM Mr Whittle, who is also a serving councillor for the Penyrheol ward, said: “I’m sure the station would be extremely popular among residents in Energlyn, Churchill Park and Penyrheol and encourage more travellers to leave their cars at home and let the train take the strain.
“There must also be very careful consideration of the parking and traffic implications for residents living in Llwyn Onn Street and Llwyn Onn Close.”
Labour’s Caerphilly AM Mr Cuthbert said: “I welcome the news that Network Rail Wales is holding a public exhibition about the proposals for a new station at Energlyn. This station has been a long time coming, and I would encourage as many local people as possible to attend. It’s certainly a step forward.”