Machynlleth to Barmouth Cambrian rail service reopens

Train being taken from Barmouth to Chester (Pic: John Lewis) Trains stranded on a stretch of flood-damaged rail line had to be moved by road

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A section of the Cambrian Coast rail line which was damaged by severe storms in January has reopened.

Sea defences and embankments along the line from Dovey Junction to Pwllheli in Gwynedd were destroyed by high tides leaving thousands of tonnes of rocks and boulders on the line.

But services between Machynlleth and Barmouth were resuming on Monday after repair work was completed.

Network Rail said the estimated cost of repairing the damage was £10m.

Work is continuing to remove debris and re-lay tracks on other parts of the line, with the worst-hit stretch between Barmouth to Pwllheli not likely to reopen until mid-May.

Network Rail said the schedule of repairs was progressing well despite the continued run of severe storms and high tides, which had caused further damage to the line

Mark Langman, route managing director for Network Rail Wales, said: "The Welsh coastline has been hit hard by this run of storms and the railway has bore the brunt in many locations."

'Challenging conditions'

"People in the region rely on the railway and our first priority was to pull together a plan to re-open the line as soon as it is safe to do so.

"That plan has seen workers operating in really challenging conditions and it's great news that we're ready to open the first section."

Mr Langman said the recent severe weather had highlighted the importance of robust plans to manage the 34 miles of railway coastal defences.

Network Rail is currently developing a coastal asset management plan in Wales, to help limit the impact of extreme weather on coastal routes, he said.

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