‘Wales’ crumbling 19th century rail infrastructure is unfit for purpose’

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price is calling for a “rail revolution” to fix Wales’ broken rail system.

A “rail revolution” is needed to fix Wales’ “crumbling 19th century rail infrastructure”, according to Plaid Cymru.

The party’s leader, Adam Price AM, will travel from Cardiff to Ynys Môn today for the final weekend of campaigning ahead of polling day next week.

During many of the campaign’s televised debates, Mr Price has drawn attention to the fact that Wales receives just 1% of the UK’s rail infrastructure spending, despite having around 5% of the population.

Due to there being no easy direct north-south rail link, Mr Price’s journey north will take just shy of five hours and will include six train stations in England.

As part of its proposed £20 billion Green Jobs Revolution, Plaid Cymru’s manifesto commits to revamping Wales’ rail infrastructure by:

  • creating a trans-Wales railway, reopening the train line between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth with a second phase connecting north to south;
  • reopening disused rail lines in the Western valleys;
  • electrifying all major rail lines by 2030 as well as the Valleys lines;
  • building a new super-Metro for the south east with new stations acting as development hubs;
  • building the Swansea Bay and West Valleys Metro, and a metro for the north east; and;
  • building a 50 km rapid transit Cross-rail for Valleys, linking Porth to Pontypool.

Speaking ahead of his journey, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price AM said:

“Anyone who has ever tried to get around Wales by train knows that what we have now is a crumbling, 19th century rail system that simply isn’t fit for purpose.

“We have about 5% of the UK’s population and yet we get just 1% of rail investment. We have cancelled electrification, and meanwhile the vanity project that is HS2 presses ahead. Never mind a high-speed rail link north to south, Wales doesn’t even have a low-speed rail link north to south.

“What we need in this country is a rail revolution, and that’s what Plaid Cymru is proposing through our Green Jobs Revolution. We will create a trans-Wales railway by reopening the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth line and onwards to the north, we’ll electrify all main routes, we’ll build a metro in the south east and north east, as well as the 50 km Cross-rail for the Valleys.

“Under successive governments of the two big Westminster parties, Wales’ rail infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and disrepute. But for a modern railway system fit for a 21st century country, it’s us.”

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