£44m rail line upgrade between Wrexham and Chester to begin


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

IMPROVEMENTS costing £44m to a rail line connecting Wrexham and Chester will begin today.

The scheme, which will deliver big improvements to the  service including doubling the number of trains using the line, starts at Rossett Junction.

Journey times between Holyhead and Cardiff will be cut from Wrexham and an extra train will run every two hours between the two stations via Wrexham.

Major works will also take place at Saltney Junction as part of the upgrades.

Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths will visit the Rossett site to see the first stage of the process begin, which it is hoped will be completed by early 2015.

Ms Griffiths said: “Modern and efficient transport links are vital for the economic prosperity of Wales.

“Today marks the start of major improvements backed by significant Welsh Government funding which will result in faster journey times and more trains between North and South Wales.

“I’ve met with stakeholders and transport providers from across the region and I know they will welcome today’s development.”

Welsh Government Transport Minister Edwina Hart said: “Improving capacity and journey time on the North-South rail link, as well as the ability to run an extra train every two hours between Holyhead and Cardiff, is essential and is one of our key priorities.

“People in North East Wales will benefit from the improved rail links to the rest of Wales once this scheme is completed.”

A drop-in event highlighting the proposed work was staged by Network Rail at Rossett Village Hall last monthj.

Rail enthusiast Bob Hargreaves from Old Roman Road, Bwlchgwyn, Wrexham, said: “I came away very disappointed. I already knew the Welsh Government had cancelled two miles of dual tracks between Gresford and Wrexham General Station.

“I was under the impression the reduced dual track to be constructed between Saltney Junction and Rossett would allow three trains an hour to run each way instead of the current one train an hour in either direction. It’s disappointing.”

See full story in the Leader

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