Coming soon: a brand new Queen Street station
If you’re going home by train over the Christmas period, prepare to face some disruptions. Indeed, Queen Street station and Cardiff central are going under the knife, or the hammer, should we say.
Since Queen Street station opened in 1840 it has been rebuilt quite regularly. Since the station was last refurbished in 1973 it is time now, 40 years later, to modernise it. Sure, ticket gates and plasma screens were added, but nothing major was done to improve the station.
Queen Street may be quite small but it is the second busiest train station in Wales after Cardiff Centre (which will also get some work done) and it is a major hub to reach the Valleys and Cardiff Bay. If you are a student at the University of Glamorgan, you may well have travelled the line between Trefforest and Queen Street to get between the main campus and Atrium campus in Cardiff city centre.
If you have taken a train from Queen Street during rush hour, you understand why the station needs more than a facelift. It is crowded, could do with a few additional platforms, and trains are slightly unreliable.
The same goes for Cardiff Central, which on rugby days is worse than the London Underground in rush hour! Cardiff’s two major stations are also Wales’ biggest stations and should stop being considered as suburban stations and treated more like the major hubs they are.
We are not the only ones to have noticed that Cardiff Central and Queen Street needed increased capacity, as proven by the £220 million project Network Rail and the Welsh Government have come up with.
The refurbishment is scheduled to be completed by 2015 and will start in Queen Street on 27th December. Disruptions are to be expected from 27th December to 18th January 2013 due to major works. If you plan to take a train during this period, buy your ticket in advance and come earlier than usual. You may want to go to Cardiff Central (platforms 6 and 7) to avoid using Queen Street on 27th December since works in Cardiff Central will start later.
Now let’s answer the question that is on everyone’s lips: How will Queen Street and Cardiff Central become “future-proof” with punctual and reliable trains? The answer was given to us by Arriva Trains:
- a new platform at Cardiff Central a new south-side entrance at Cardiff Central with lifts to the new platform
- 2 new platforms and additional entrance at Cardiff Queen Street station
- an additional platform at Barry station
- improved infrastructure on the Rhymney Valley line at Caerphilly and Tir-Phil
- improved infrastructure at Cogan
- line-speed improvements on the City Line
- a new platform at Pontypridd
Furthermore, the outside infrastructure of the stations will change too, to become more “robust” and “flexible”, according to Arriva Trains’ spokesperson.
We advise frequent travellers to sign up for Arriva’s free e-mail alerts in order to be warned of any disruption.