New platform at Cardiff Central station will help to ease congestion as railway upgrade in South Wales continues

A new platform at Cardiff Central station designed to help ease congestion will be unveiled in the New Year-all part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.

The brand new platform 8 is located above the modern south-side entrance building at the station and will officially come into use on Tuesday, 3 January 2017 to passengers travelling on the Penarth, Barry Island and Vale of Glamorgan lines. It is all part of the £300m Cardiff area signalling renewals project to modernise the Cardiff and Valleys network. The works are the largest signalling project of its kind to be commissioned on the rail network and will be completed over the festive period.

The track for Platform 8 was installed this year and together with the new signalling system, as well as being bi-directional, it will enable trains to depart westwards from Platforms 7 and 8 simultaneously, improving the operational capacity of the line.

The project also includes upgrading track and signalling on the railway in and around Cardiff Central station, which will help to improve the reliability of the rail services in the area.

Christian Irwin, programme manager for Network Rail Wales, said: “This brand new platform is designed to ease congestion and is just one of the many elements of this highly complex project to re-model and modernise the railway in South Wales as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. It will allow the potential for more services to run in the Cardiff area, resulting in an increase in passenger capacity, particularly at peak times.

 “As part of this project, which began in 2012, we have replaced ageing signalling equipment, enhanced track layouts, built new platforms and improved stations.

“We would like to thank the general public and rail passengers for their patience and understanding over the upcoming festive period while we complete this essential final phase of this major upgrade project which will deliver significant passenger benefits.”

Passengers are being advised to plan their journeys ahead over the Christmas and New Year period as work on major projects across the network begins on Christmas Eve.

There will be no train services late on Christmas Eve between Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Newport and the Valleys and there will be bus replacements in operation on some days as well as diversions in place between Cardiff Central, Bridgend, Newport and the Valleys from 27 December until 3 January.

 Lee Paxton, head of projects interface at Arriva Trains Wales said:

“Arriva Trains Wales has worked in conjunction with Network Rail in order to deliver this new facility. The opening of platform 8 will not only introduce a new platform, waiting area and customer information desk but it will also allow the valley lines to operate more efficiently, easing congestion in and out of Cardiff Central.”

Passengers can find a breakdown of how their journey may be affected over the festive period by visiting and following #ChristmasWorks on Twitter.

Members of Cardiff Camera Club were invited on Monday, 28 November to capture the first shots of the new platform.

Notes to Editor:

From Tuesday 3 January 2017, Penarth, Barry Island and Vale of Glamorgan line services will run from platform 8 between the hours of 0600 and 2000 Monday-Saturday.

These services will continue to run from platform 7 at all other times with the exception of:


06.36 Cardiff Central – Penarth Platform 4

06.56 Cardiff Central – Barry Island Platform 4

12.55 Cardiff Central – Barry Island Platform 4


06.36 Cardiff Central – Penarth Platform 4

06.56 Cardiff Central – Barry Island Platform 3

Additional information on large-scale projects being delivered this Christmas:

Crossrail West

  • Description: Work taking place at several sites on Crossrail’s western section with work beginning in the early hours of Christmas Eve through to the morning of Tuesday 3 January, including: between Paddington and Acton; Acton and Stockley; and Stockley and Ruscombe. London Underground will also be installing new equipment at Earls Court and carrying out upgrade work on parts of the line
  • Impact: There will be disruption to services out of London Paddington from the early hours on Christmas Eve through to Tuesday 3 January which means that passengers travelling to and from London need to interchange at Ealing Broadway station up until Thursday 29 December. There will be no Heathrow Express services from the station and Great Western Railway services will be terminating at Ealing Broadway from Christmas Eve until Thursday 29 December. There will be reduced train services from Friday 30 December to Tuesday 3 January
  • Crossrail East
  • Description: A number of major upgrades are being carried out by Network Rail on this section of the route in preparation for the arrival of the new Elizabeth line services from 2017. This includes signalling, track and overhead line work from Friday 23 December through to Wednesday 4 January. The Crossrail project will provide new trains, better stations and quicker, easier, more reliable journeys for passengers in east London and Essex
  • Impact: Bus replacements and diversions will be in place across some parts of the route with travellers to and from London required to interchange at Newbury Park tube station
  • Northern Hub
  • Description: Since October 2015 work has been taking place on the Ordsall Chord.  This will be 300 metres of new track which will create a link between Manchester city centre’s main train stations for the first time. However, for this vital piece of track to be fitted, a huge amount of work needs to take place beforehand.  This includes realigning existing track, building new bridges, removing disused arches and restoring Grade I listed structures. This is part of our plan to stimulate economic growth in the north of England through better connections between key towns and cities.
  • Impact: Ordsall Chord work between Manchester Victoria and Manchester Piccadilly will mean bus replacements and diversions from Oxford Road station for 10 days from Sunday 18 December to early Wednesday 28 December 
  • Thameslink
  • Description: From Christmas Eve until Wednesday 28 December, major work on the approaches to London Bridge as part of the Thameslink programme as well as track renewals at New Cross, will mean changes to services into London Bridge, London Cannon Street and London Charing Cross.
  • Impact: There are no trains at Charing Cross, Waterloo East, St Johns and New Cross; Only Hastings trains will be going to and from London Bridge; There is a very limited service to and from London Cannon Street with only Greenwich Line trains running; Trains are diverted to Victoria or Blackfriars and will be busier than usual