South West Wales

Rail improvements between Swansea and Gowerton planned

Train in a station
Image caption Network Rail unveiled plans in April to ease railway congestion in Cardiff and the south Wales valleys

A £40m scheme to improve rail services between Swansea and Gowerton has been unveiled.

The plans are designed to cope with rising passenger numbers in west Wales, which could increase by 20% by the end of the decade.

Work could see a new six-mile track built between Cockett West Junction and Duffryn West Junction, while Loughor viaduct could be replaced.

The scheme is being jointly funded by Network Rail and the Welsh government.

It also includes plans to reinstate the disused eastbound platform at Gowerton station to cater for the new track.

Network Rail submitted its proposals to Carmarthenshire council on Monday. The new services are planned to open in 2013.

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail Wales, said the scheme promised to bring huge benefits to areas such as Swansea, Llanelli, Carmarthen, Fishguard and Milford Haven.

He added that there would be shorter journey times and better connections that could potentially remove around 300,000 trips from road to rail.

Mr Langman said: "Today's announcement of our plan is another affirmation of Network Rail's commitment to growing the railway in Wales.

"This scheme has come about by a shared vision with the Welsh government and Swwitch (South West Wales Integrated Transport Consortium), and the recognition that investment in rail infrastructure is good for the economy and will help support and nurture Welsh economic growth.

"We hope that local authorities, passengers and the local community share our vision of the long term benefits and support us during the construction works to deliver the scheme successfully."

CCTV

There are also plans to run two more trains between Swansea and Llanelli and one more between Swansea and Carmarthen per hour.

At a bigger Gowerton station, a new footbridge with ramps, a customer information system, CCTV and better lighting is proposed.

In April, details of a £200m plan to ease railway congestion in Cardiff and the south Wales valleys were revealed.

Network Rail said improvements to stations, lines and signalling equipment could double the rail capacity of the region by 2015.

Passenger demand in Cardiff and the valleys is increasing at 8% on average each year, it said.

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