Support to reopen Carno railway station

By Matthew Murray
BBC News

  • Published
Media caption,
Archive footage shows station before its closure

A 14-year campaign to reopen a railway station that closed in the 1960s on the Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury line has taken a step forward.

Transport Minister Edwina Hart has confirmed Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail have broadly agreed with an independent report recommending opening a station at Carno in Powys.

Local people have been campaigning for the move since 2002.

The station shut in 1963 as part of the Beeching cuts to Britain's railways.

In a letter to Montgomeryshire AM Russell George, Mrs Hart said she had asked officials at Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail to undertake analysis.

"I have now received a letter from Arriva Trains Wales and Network Rail. They broadly accept the specialist's conclusions but express concern that additional stops might impact on performance and punctuality," she wrote.

"They have offered to assist my officials with further technical analysis to identify solutions to any issues and I have requested that this should be completed for further review by February."

Image caption,
The former station was closed in 1963

Mr George has has long supported the campaign for the station and said it was a "positive step forward".

There have been concerns that re-opening the station would impact on the railway's timetable and cause journeys to be longer, due to the stop, but campaigners say this would be minimal.

Carno Station Action Group chairman, Jeremy Barnes said: "At most, stopping at Carno would add three minutes on to the passengers' journey.

"This part of Wales is neglected when it comes to rail services. It is located on the longest stretch of railway without an intermediate station in the whole of Wales, the 22 miles [35km] between Caersws and Machynlleth."

The original station closed in 1963. Even though the Cambrian railway survived, this was one of the stations that closed along the line.

It became part of the Laura Ashley site in Carno, which closed in 2004.