Sunday woes in the Conwy Valley

IMG_6922Only three weeks after its re-opening following a four-month closure to repair extensive flood damage, a week in North Wales working on the Ffestiniog Railway gave me an opportunity to sample summer Sunday services on the picturesque Conwy Valley line from Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog.

But things did not go according to plan and my depressing experience, along with a number of similar experiences on the equally spectacular Cambrian Coast Line, has convinced me that new franchisee Transport for Wales (TfW) is not fit for purpose and that the Welsh Government should be urgently reviewing its tenure of the franchise Continue reading “Sunday woes in the Conwy Valley”


Chase Line re-born


IMG_6815When it comes to provincial railway revivals in England, there cannot be anything to match the scale of transformation that has taken place on the 15½-mile long Chase Line in Staffordshire over the 30 years, since an initial ten-mile section from Walsall to Hednesford was re-opened in 1989.

Chase Line services quickly proved popular and were later extended to Rugeley Town (June 1997) and Rugeley Trent Valley (May 1998), initially continuing on the West Coast Main Line to Stafford, but cut back to Trent Valley in December 2008 to free up capacity on the WCML. Continue reading “Chase Line re-born”