Welsh Marches Line

Welsh Marches Line

The Welsh Marches Line is the railway line from Newport to Shrewsbury via Abergavenny, Hereford, Craven Arms, and then, either to Crewe and Manchester via Whitchurch or alternately via the Shrewsbury and Chester Line to Wrexham and Chester with services continuing to Holyhead. The line in this way links South Wales to northwest England via the Welsh border region of the Welsh Marches, bypassing Birmingham, it is sometimes known as the "North and West route". Most trains to Chester, the North Wales Coast and Holyhead start from Cardiff, while many services to Crewe and Manchester now start from Milford Haven or Carmarthen and also serve Cardiff and sometimes Swansea.


The cities, towns and villages served by the routes are listed below from south to north:

**connections with the South Wales Main Line and line to Gloucester
*Pontypool and New Inn

**connection with Cotswold Line to Worcester
*Craven Arms
**connection with the Heart of Wales Line to Llanelli
*Church Stretton
**connection with Cambrian Line to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli, and the line to Wolverhampton.
**through services via the Shrewsbury to Chester Line to Wrexham, Chester and Holyhead.
**connection with West Coast Main Line, and North Wales Coast Line to Holyhead
**through services to Manchester


Arriva Trains Wales runs services on the line and many continue to Manchester Piccadilly, via Stockport or else to Holyhead via Wrexham and Chester.

The line is very popular for railtours, both steam and diesel. During Autumn 2007, 6201 'Princess Elizabeth' visited the route on 2 returns and 1 single run from Bristol to Shrewsbury and Crewe. Also a few railtours hauled by Class 37's and Class 47's travelled along the line during the same time of year.


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