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The Info List - North Wales Coast Line





The North Wales
North Wales
Coast Line (Welsh: Rheilffordd Arfordir Gogledd Cymru), also known as the North Wales
North Wales
Main Line,[1] is the railway line from Crewe
Crewe
to Holyhead. Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
consider their services along it to be a spur of the West Coast Main Line. In April 2006, Network Rail
Network Rail
organised its maintenance and train control operations into "26 Routes". The main line through Crewe
Crewe
forms part of Route 18 (The West Coast Main Line). The North Wales
North Wales
Coast Line from Crewe
Crewe
(North Junction) to Chester
Chester
and North Wales
North Wales
has been designated Route 22 ( North Wales
North Wales
and Borders) and this includes the line to Chester
Chester
from Acton Grange Junction, south of Warrington. The line from Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
to Chester
Chester
via Wrexham
Wrexham
is Route 14 (South and Central Wales and Borders) (until Saltney Junction). The line is not currently electrified, so Virgin Trains, the current operator of the InterCity West Coast
InterCity West Coast
franchise, currently uses its diesel Super Voyagers, which they have done since December 2007, on routes to Holyhead. There are no official plans to electrify the line, but both the Welsh government and former Chancellor George Osborne have indicated that there is a strong case for electrification in the future. The line contains several notable engineering structures, namely Conwy railway bridge across the River Conwy, and Britannia Bridge
Britannia Bridge
across the Menai Strait.

Contents

1 History 2 Main calling points 3 Services 4 Future 5 References 6 Further reading

History[edit] The first section from Crewe
Crewe
to Chester
Chester
was built by the Chester
Chester
and Crewe
Crewe
Railway and absorbed by the Grand Junction Railway shortly before opening in 1840. The remainder was built between 1844 and 1850 by the Chester
Chester
and Holyhead
Holyhead
Railway Company as the route of the Irish Mail services to Dublin. The line was later incorporated in the London and North Western Railway. Between Chester
Chester
and Saltney Junction, the line was, from the start, used by trains of the Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
and Chester Railway later to be incorporated in the Great Western Railway. So important was the line in the 19th and early 20th centuries to passenger, mail and freight traffic between Britain and Ireland that the world's first experimental and operational water troughs were installed at Mochdre between Colwyn Bay
Colwyn Bay
and Llandudno
Llandudno
Junction. Their purpose was to enable steam engines (especially on the Irish Mail) to collect water without stopping. Later, considerable stretches of line between Chester
Chester
and Colwyn Bay
Colwyn Bay
were quadrupled to increase line capacity but these sections have now been reduced to two tracks. Main calling points[edit] The main towns served by the route are listed below:

Crewe Chester

Line diverges to serve Wrexham, Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
and Cardiff
Cardiff
(via the Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
to Chester
Chester
Line - Route 14) Wirral Line
Wirral Line
diverges to serve Birkenhead
Birkenhead
and Liverpool
Liverpool
- Route 21 (Merseyrail)

Shotton

The Borderlands Line
Borderlands Line
(part of Route 22) from Wrexham
Wrexham
to Bidston crosses at Shotton with interchange facilities.

Flint Prestatyn Rhyl Abergele Colwyn Bay Llandudno
Llandudno
Junction

Lines diverge to serve Blaenau Ffestiniog
Blaenau Ffestiniog
(via the Conwy
Conwy
Valley Line) and Llandudno

Conwy Penmaenmawr Llanfairfechan Bangor Llanfairpwll

Line diverges to Amlwch
Amlwch
( Anglesey
Anglesey
Central Railway, disused)

Bodorgan Ty Croes Rhosneigr Valley

Freight from Wylfa
Wylfa
nuclear power station is loaded at a depot in Valley

Holyhead

Services[edit] Principal through passenger services are London Euston
London Euston
to Holyhead, Bangor, Chester
Chester
and Wrexham
Wrexham
General operated by Virgin Trains
Virgin Trains
(West Coast) and Crewe
Crewe
to Holyhead, Cardiff
Cardiff
to Holyhead
Holyhead
and Manchester to Llandudno
Llandudno
currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales
Arriva Trains Wales
(who replaced First North Western). A revised timetable has operated since December 2005 incorporating a new service to and from Cardiff
Cardiff
Central every two hours. The line still provides the UK railway part of the through passenger service to Dublin
Dublin
using fast car ferries from Holyhead
Holyhead
to Dublin
Dublin
Port. Future[edit]

North Wales
North Wales
Coast Line between Chester
Chester
and Saltney, showing the two tracks over the River Dee. The path of the other two tracks which were removed can also be seen.

The Welsh Government would like the line to be electrified, especially if Crewe
Crewe
becomes a rail hub due to HS2 in 2026.[2] Chancellor George Osborne said in July 2015 that there was a "really strong case" for electrification of the line.[3] The Electrification Task Force said that the Chester
Chester
to Crewe
Crewe
line was a Tier 2 priority for being electrified in the CP6 period (2019-2024).[4] A £50 million signalling upgrade programme is currently being carried out between Shotton and Colwyn Bay, which will see modular colour lights supervised from the South Wales Rail Operating Centre
Rail Operating Centre
in Cardiff replace the manual signal boxes and mixture of semaphore and older colour lights currently in use, in March 2018.[5] References[edit]

^ "Route Utilisation Strategy - Wales" (PDF). Network Rail. 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2012.  ^ Williamson, David (21 March 2014). "HS2 report has pushed electrification of North Wales
North Wales
rail line forward, Welsh Secretary claims". Wales Online. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ "'Strong case' for north Wales rail electrification". BBC News. 17 July 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ "Electrification Task Force Final Report Revealed". Rail North. 5 March 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.  ^ £50m North Wales
North Wales
Railway Upgrade Project underway Network Rail Media Centre; Retrieved 4 August 2017

Further reading[edit] Route map: Google

KML file (edit • help)

Display on Google Maps

Template:Attached KML/ North Wales
North Wales
Coast Line KML is from Wikidata

Allen, David (18 June – 1 July 1997). "Sun, sea, sand...and semaphores". RAIL. No. 307. EMAP Apex Publications. pp. 40–45. ISSN 0953-4563. OCLC 49953699. 

v t e

Railway lines in Wales

InterCity lines

North Wales
North Wales
Coast Line South Wales Main Line

Main lines

Gloucester–Newport line Shrewsbury– Chester
Chester
line Welsh Marches line

Valley and Cardiff
Cardiff
Local Lines

  Butetown Branch   City Line   Coryton Line   Ebbw Vale Line   Maesteg Line   Merthyr line   Rhondda line   Rhymney line   Vale of Glamorgan Line

Other lines

Borderlands line Cambrian Line Conwy
Conwy
Valley line Heart of Wales line West

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