Newport High Street railway station


Newport High Street railway station

Infobox UK station
name=Newport
other_name=Casnewydd
code=NWP
manager=Arriva Trains Wales
locale=Newport city centre
borough=Newport
usage0405=1.828
usage0506=1.906
usage0607=2.012
platforms=4
years=June 18 1850
events=Opened
years1=1880
events1=Enlarged
years2=1928
events2=Enlarged

Newport High Street railway stationCite web |url=http://www.newportunlimited.co.uk/10778.file.dld|title=Newport UnlimitedMinutes of the Meeting of the Board held on 22 November 2007|publisher=Newport Unlimited|date=2007-11-22|accessdate=2008-02-05] or more commonly Newport ( _cy. Casnewydd) is the 3rd busiest railway station in Wales (after Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street), situated in the heart of the city of Newport. It is operated by Arriva Trains Wales. The main station entrance is located on Queensway, and a small section of road known as Station Approach links this to the High Street. The station was originally opened in 1850 by the South Wales Railway Company and was greatly expanded in 1928.

Although officially named "Newport High Street", the suffix "High Street" became unnecessary on the closure of Mill Street and Dock Street stations to goods traffic in the 1960s [Railway Magazine, July 1960] . Printed tickets and National rail enquiries use the suffix "South Wales" to differentiate this station from its namesake in Essex.

ervices

Newport is currently served by three train operating companies: Arriva Trains Wales, CrossCountry and First Great Western.

Arriva Trains Wales operate hourly services between Cardiff Central and Manchester Piccadilly, with some trains extended beyond Cardiff to Swansea, Carmarthen or Milford Haven. There are also hourly services from Cardiff to North Wales. In addition, there are hourly local services between Maesteg and Gloucester, via Cardiff and Newport.

CrossCountry operate an hourly service from Cardiff to Nottingham, via Birmingham New Street. They also run a daily service to Edinburgh Waverley, via Bristol, Birmingham and Newcastle, which departs at 07:15 on Mondays to Fridays and 09:15 on Saturdays. This service does not run on Sundays. There is an hourly service on Saturdays between Plymouth and various stations in the Midlands and north of England which reverses at Newport.

First Great Western operate a half-hourly express service to London Paddington and Cardiff Central, with trains often continuing to Swansea, and also services to Bristol Temple Meads, which often continue to Portsmouth Harbour, Weymouth, Westbury, Frome or Taunton.

History

The current station layout consists of four through-platforms numbered 1 to 4 from the south side. The original broad gauge station had only two 200ft-long through platforms and a bay platform at the east end of the down platform. On the closure of Dock Street and Mill Street stations to passengers in 1880, High Street station was greatly expanded: The up platform was made into an island - the north face 825ft in length, and the south side 814ft. The down platform was extended to 897ft with the west end bay extended to 428ft. Two scissors crossovers were provided on these new platforms, effectively dividing them into two. The original down platform became Nos. 1 and 2. The bay became No. 3, the south face of the up platform Nos. 4 and 5 and the north face Nos. 6 and 7. The bay platform was mostly used for Monmouthshire western valleys services, but with the quadrupling of the line in 1912 trains from the bay platform (on the south side) now had to cross the entire station to get to the Gaer Tunnel on the north side. To address this the former loading dock on the north side of the station was made into a passenger platform (No. 8).

April 1961 saw the introduction of colour Multiple-Aspect Signalling and associated modifications to the station layout. The north face of the island platform became the new up platform, with the south face becoming the new down. The platforms were also renumbered in the opposite direction, with No. 8 becoming No. 1, Nos. 6/7 becoming 2/3, Nos. 4/5 remained the same and Nos. 1/2 were combined as a new No. 6. Subsequent removal of the scissors crossovers saw a further combination and renumbering of platforms to the current layout.

Facilities

Platform 1 is generally only used during peak hours and usually for trains heading towards Cardiff Central. Platform 2 is the usual stopping point for all westbound services towards Cardiff Central including First Great Western services continuing to Swansea. Platform 3 is the stopping point for eastbound trains to London Paddington and First services to South England, Bristol Temple Meads, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Manchester, North Wales and the Midlands. Platform 4 is the stopping point for Arriva Trains Wales services to Gloucester and First Great Western services to Weymouth and will also be used by trains to Ebbw Vale following the full re-opening of the Ebbw Valley Line.

A British Transport Police station and a branch of WH Smith are situated on platform 1. The waiting room and customer toilets are situated between platforms 2 and 3, as is the "Upper Crust" café. Also between platforms 2 and 3 is a customer help desk. The booking hall is situated between the main entrance and platform 1. There are three main windows for tickets for immediate travel and a travel centre which handles enquiries, complaints and issues tickets for future travel. In the booking hall there is also a small buffet, telephones, automatic ticket machines and a photo booth. Wheelchair access between platforms is provided by a subway, accessed by a lift from the platforms. Also, a ramp from platforms 2 and 3 leads into a subway that links Mill Street to the city centre. There is a short-stay car park and taxi rank situated to the front and a long-stay car park to the rear which is accessible via a footbridge from all platforms. Since October 2005, automatic ticket barriers have been installed. In November 2006, Arriva installed alarms on the fire doors in the subway, which was commonly used as a method of avoiding ticket purchasing. As these doors lead straight into a public subway under the station, the ticketless customer would avoid the automatic ticket barriers. At the same time, the ticket barriers are being used more often, before used during peak periods and match days, now manned throughout the day until late in the evening.

Future developments

The Welsh Assembly Government and Network Rail have agreed a £20 million makeover for the station that will provide a new concourse, a second pedestrian bridge over the tracks and a user-friendly bus-rail interchange at the station. The plans also include an extended platform 4 capable of accommodating up to twelve-carriage intercity trains and a new multi-storey car park for long-stay travellers. The first phase, platform 4 extension, was completed on July 2 2007. [http://www.newportunlimited.co.uk/10481.file.dld]

Unfortunately, the redevelopment of Platform 4 did not allow for disabled access. This will be addressed in a further development of the station before the 2010 Ryder Cup, where a lift will be installed to Platform 4, together with a second passenger bridge for the whole station, a new bus station developed and the multi-storey car park completed. In the meantime, station staff are using a locally contracted taxi firm at £3 a passenger to move disabled and elderly passengers the half mile from one side of the station to the other, in a complimentary service provision. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_east/6951914.stm Taxis used between rail platforms] BBC News - 17 August 2007]

There is a campaign to change the name of the station to "Newport City railway station"

Phase two of the Ebbw Valley Line project will see the restoration of direct trains between Newport and Ebbw Vale and will resurrect the suburban rail link with Rogerstone. In March 2008 following the outstanding success of phase one, the Welsh Assembly Government's Minister for Economy and Transport launched a feasibility study into the restoration of direct trains. Significant works need to be carried out including the re-instatement of a set of points, re-furbished track, new signals at the Gaer and Park junctions as well as track extensions between Crosskeys and Llanhilleth. It looks more than likely than any upgrades will be conducted during the Newport area re-signalling works between 2009 and 2012 for cost reasons. [http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-chamber/bus-chamber-third-assembly-rop.htm National Assembly for Wales | Records of Plenary Proceedings ] ] [ [http://www.blaenau-gwent.gov.uk/ebbwvalleyrailway/index.htm Ebbw Valley Railway - Home - Welcome ] ]

Welsh Assembly Members Rosemary Butler, John Griffiths and Irene James have all been vocal supporters of the project and have raised the provision of the link to the Minister for Economy and Transport. The Welsh Assembly Government has offered the assurance that the project is a top priority subject to a feasibility study. Any future development of Newport to Ebbw Vale will be published later in 2008 in the Welsh Assembly Government's transport plan.

The whole Newport area will be re-signalled in 2009-2012 which will include speed upgrades on the relief lines. The Welsh Assembly Government working with Sewta is also looking to provide an additional service (1 in every 2 hours) to Abergavenny with a new station in Caerleon. This would mean that there would be two trains per hour between Cwmbran and Abergavenny and an hourly service to Pontypool and New Inn. Provision of this project would be subject to line enhancements in Abergavenny. The Welsh Assembly Government is also looking to provide one fast train between North and South Wales each day. [ [http://www.sewta.gov.uk/ SEWTA - Index / Site Map ] ]

ee also

*Railway stations in Newport
*Pontypool, Caerleon and Newport Railway
*Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport Railway
*List of railway stations in Wales

References

*South Wales Main Line - Newport ISBN 1874103763

External links

* [http://www.mrsoc.co.uk/ Monmouthshire Railway Society]
* [http://www.thisisnotgwent.co.uk/ This is Newport]
* [http://www.newportcitynews.com/ Newport City News]


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