Network Rail has thanked passengers for their patience as it announces the early reopening of the Abergavenny to Hereford line.

Last weekend, extreme rain and flooding washed away ballast and track foundations at a number of locations in Pontrilas, South Herefordshire. Since the closure, Network Rail has had teams onsite working around the clock to restore the line for passengers.

Initially set to reopen on Monday 4 November, the line will now reopen for the start of service on Saturday 2 November with Transport for Wales operating a normal weekend timetable.

The work delivered to reopen the line includes:

  • The removal and replacement of sleepers at all washout locations
  • The removal and replacement of 100 metres of track over 5 areas;
  • Transporting to site and laying 300 tonnes of foundation materials;
  • Transporting to site and laying 600 tonnes of ballast stones;
  • Drainage and culvert inspections;
  • Checks to signalling, power and telecom cables;
  • Repairs to fencing to secure the line.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s route director for Wales and Borders, said:

“I would like to thank passengers and all those affected by the closure of the line. The severity of the rain and flooding had a devastating impact locally so we put in place immediate plans to reopen the railway as quickly as possible.

“I would also like to thank to our team who worked around the clock in very challenging weather conditions to reopen this important line ahead of schedule. I am also grateful to our partners at Transport for Wales for keeping passengers moving while rail services were disrupted.”

Chris Howchin, Network Rail’s route programme director, added:

“I’m delighted that we’ve managed to reopen the line ahead of schedule – restoring a vital rail link for Wales and Borders. The whole team worked tirelessly in difficult weather conditions and it’s a fantastic result for passengers.”

Colin Lea, Customer Experience Director, Transport for Wales Rail Services concluded:

 “Transport for Wales is pleased that our colleagues at Network Rail are ahead of their work schedule and the line between Abergavenny and Hereford can now be reopened.  

“I would like to thank all teams involved for their hard work and dedication, and also thank our customers for their patience over the last few days.

“Our services will resume on Saturday, but please check our website for updates prior to travelling.”