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Trains run again after daily’s 22-year campaign

A passenger train service in the Welsh Valleys has resumed this month – after a regional daily’s 22-year campaign.

Direct trains between Newport and Ebbw Vale were scrapped 60 years ago as part of the ‘Beeching Axe’ which decimated Britain’s rural railways in the early 1960s.

In 2002, the South Wales Argus launched a campaign to reopen the line called ‘Get Us Back on Track.’

A section of it reopened in 2008 but now full direct services from Newport are finally running following a £70m investment by the Welsh government.


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Argus editor Gavin Thompson said: “The Argus has long campaigned for a proper service linking Newport and Ebbw Vale and it’s heartening to see it come to fruition.

“The hard yards on this campaign were done before my time as editor, so credit goes to my predecessors and the reporters who have kept this in the spotlight over the years.

“It’s a reminder of the power of the local press to make a difference for our communities – even if it sometimes takes a couple of decades to see the results.”

The launch of the new service was performed by Welsh deputy climate change minister Lee Waters MS – himself a former Welsh journalist- on 1st February.

Mr Waters said he was pleased the service between Newport and Ebbw Vale was “finally in place”.

“It has taken a long time and required a lot of investment but the doubling of the frequency of trains will make a difference to all the communities along the route. This would not have happened without the Welsh Government stepping in with investment.”

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council used the £70m investment to facilitate as many as 30 services on the line on a typical day.

Stations have reopened at Rogerstone, Risca and Pontymister, Crosskeys, Newbridge, Llanhilleth, along with a new park-and-ride at Ebbw Vale Parkway.