South East Wales

Study to look at Blaencwm railway tunnel reopening

Blaencwm tunnel
Image caption The tunnel was filled in after the Beeching cuts to the UK rail network in the 1960s

The Welsh government is to commission a study to look at reopening Wales' longest railway tunnel for tourists.

Minister Edwina Hart made the commitment in a letter to supporters backing the plans for Blaencwm tunnel, Rhondda Cynon Taff.

The Rhondda Tunnel Society wants to reopen it for cyclists and walkers. It runs for 3km (1.8 miles) to Blaengwynfi, Neath Port Talbot.

The minister said it could bring "significant economic" benefits.

The tunnel was buried during the Beeching cutbacks of the UK railway network in the 1960s.

Last month, engineers visited the tunnel for the first time in 40 years to start assessing whether reopening the tunnel is feasible.

Local AM Leighton Andrews, who received the letter, said: "I want to commend the hard work of the Rhondda Tunnel Society in getting the project to this stage."

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