A GROUP has been set up to put together a bid to bring the Amlwch to Gaerwen railway line on Anglesey back to life.
Originally known as the Anglesey Central Railway, the closed line extends north almost 18 miles from the North Wales main line at Gaerwen through Llangefni to Amlwch. The railway’s tracks remain in place.
The line was opened in 1867 but passenger services stopped in 1964 but freight traffic continued until 1993. The Welsh Government, in partnership with Network Rail, commissioned a feasibility study into the reopening of the line in 2011.
The group, chaired by Virginia Crosbie, MP for Anglesey, includes representatives from the Menter Môn social enterprise, Welsh Government, Transport for Wales and Anglesey County Council. It plans to put together a proposal for the disused track.
Earlier this year Ms Crosbie sponsored a proposal for the Restoring your Railways Ideas Fund which received positive feedback from the Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, Minister of State for Transport, who said: “It is great your proposal has potential and I would encourage you to review the feedback and consider whether you wish to submit a revised bid to next round of the Ideas Fund.”
The feedback makes recommendations for strengthening the business case for the proposal including expanding on the opportunities for local employment and encourages further engagement with local stakeholders.
Ms Crosbie said: “In response to the recommendations in the report, I have brought together this group to look at the various options available and produce an improved and viable proposal. This stretch of line is a fabulous local asset which could be used for the benefit of locals and tourists alike.
“We will be looking at how the line might be used for a range of uses including a combined railway and accessible active travel path. Such a project could form part of a route running the length of the island offering exciting opportunities to link with the coastal path.”
Dafydd Gruffydd, Managing Director of Menter Môn added: “Anglesey has unique assets and every effort should be made to add value to them for community and economic benefit. The coastal path, which we helped restore 15 years ago, is a prime example. We are very supportive of any project that could benefit the north east of the Island, which has suffered several setbacks recently, and we are looking forward to working with Virginia to shape an attractive and viable proposal.”