South Wales resignalling

We’re delivering a £450m scheme to modernise the railway in South Wales – the biggest investment in the Welsh network for more than 100 years.

Between 2007 and 2018, we’re installing new signalling technology and improving stations from the Severn Tunnel through to Swansea. We’re also in the process of electrifying the South Wales Mainline.

These projects will create more capacity, deliver faster, more frequent rail services for passengers, and help to boost economic growth throughout South Wales.

Resignalling the railway

We’re installing state-of-the art signalling technology that will allow more trains to run along the track and so increase passenger capacity, particularly at peak times. The signalling technology is controlled from our Wales Railway Operations Centre at Cardiff Central station, which we completed and opened in 2010.

Here’s a summary of our progress with resignalling the route:

  • We’ve resignalled the line in the area east of Port Talbot East, from Llantrisant to Baglan, and in the Newport area from Pilning to Newport station.
  • Since 2013 we’ve been working on lines in the Valleys railway and in the Cardiff area from Newport station to Llantrisant on the Cardiff Area Signalling Renewals scheme (CASR). This stage is due for completion in 2017.
  • In 2016 we started work to renew the signalling in the area west of Port Talbot, from Baglan to Llanelli.

Faster, more reliable journeys

In addition to faster journey times, resignalling the lines on the South Wales railway will mean more reliable journeys with fewer delays – particularly after the lines have also been electrified.

Quicker commuting and a boost for the economy

Modernising the railway will make it quicker and easier for people to get to and from their work in Cardiff, Swansea and other centres of employment in the region. Equally important, businesses in London looking to relocate or set up new bases will be attracted by the reduced travel times between London and South Wales.

Improving stations in South Wales

As part of the modernisation scheme, we’re also upgrading seven key stations.

Find out more about upgrading stations on the South Wales railway

Electrifying the South Wales route

Our upgrade of signalling and stations paves the way for electrifying the South Wales route. Electric trains are faster, quieter and greener than diesel trains, with 20 to 35 per cent lower CO2 emissions. They are also cheaper to run because of lower fuel and maintenance costs.

When electrification is complete, South Wales will have a modern, efficient and sustainable railway fit for the 21st century.

Timeline of work

The dates below show the timescales for different sections of signalling to have been renewed and controlled by our Wales Railway Operations Centre in Cardiff:

Resignalling work already completed

Summer 2013: Vale of Glamorgan
Autumn 2013: Rhymney Valley Line
Summer 2014: Barry
Summer 2015: East of Cardiff

Resignalling work to be completed

2017: Cardiff Central and West of Cardiff
2018: West of Port Talbot, from Baglan to Llanelli

CASR at a glance

  • More than 5,500 people have worked on the project
  • More than 4m hours worked
  • 192 miles
  • 5 phases
  • More than 830 wheel sensors fitted
  • 370 new signals installed
  • 100 sets of points installed, renewed or recontrolled
  • 12 to 16 trains per hour through Cardiff Central station
  • 6 new platforms (Tirphil, Caerphilly, Queen St x2, Central and Barry)