Support for Caernarfon rail link
24 October 2013 |
Read more articles by Tomos Hughes
ARFON MP Hywel Williams believes re-opening a railway line between Bangor and Caernarfon would be a “huge blessing” to the area.
Draft plans by Ffestiniog and Welsh Highway Railway (FWHR) to re-connect a seven mile gap between the towns “at the discussion stage” according to the organisation.
The re-connection would complete a 70-mile Snowdonia route, and the group estimates the cost of the project would be “in the tens of millions, rather than the hundreds of millions.”
Hywel Williams MP said: “It would be a huge blessing to Bangor and Caernarfon. It would reduce road traffic between Bangor and Caernarfon, and link Caernarfon to the main line. It would be of economic benefit to both places.
“When it was closed in 1970, it was closed with very little gain for Network Rail and great detriment to Caernarfon. It would be a great step towards completing a Welsh Network.
“A line from Caernarfon to Bangor would feed more passengers to the main North Wales line, and it strengthens the case for electrifying the line between Crewe and Holyhead.”
Andrew Thomas of Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway, said: “I think during the summer, there are something like ten buses an hour going between Bangor and Caernarfon, so the demand is obviously there.
“In terms of operation, it would be pretty profitable. It would be great for the area to have this fantastic, world-beating attraction in north Wales.
”We would give our unreserved support to any plans to reopen the missing seven mile link.”
The original line was closed in 1970 as part of the Beeching cuts, and although the track was removed, the trackbed still exists.
A Network Rail Spokeswoman said: “The most sensible first step that would need to be taken would be to understand the feasibility of the project and identify a funding stream and business plan.”