22nd October 2010


MINUTES of a meeting held at the

Town Hall Welshpool on Friday 22nd October 2010 at 11.15am

This meeting was held as the regular meeting of  the Committee




Cllr M Williams Chair Shropshire Council

Cllr P James Vice Chair Ceredigion CC

R A Robinson Secretary Welshpool Town Council

Ben Davies Arriva Trains

Mark Williams MP Ceredigion

Gerwyn Jones Rail Development Officer

Naomi Allen Aberystwyth University Student Union

Nigel Owen  Aberystwyth University

Cllr J M Williams Machynlleth

Cllr F Torrens Powys CC and Newtown Town Council

Ian Murray Representative of Rail Future

M Collis of Kerry Town Council

Cllr M Benjamin Aberystwyth Town Council

Cllr L Edwards Ceredigion County Council

D Koring Rail Development Officer Shropshire Council

Wyn Williams Prospective AM

Luke Harper Work Experience

R Goodhew Shropshire Council

G Edwards Ceredigion County Council

G Evans Powys County Council

A Wallbank Caersws Community Council

Inspector D Davies British Transport Police



G Robinson Ceredigion County Council

T Roberts   Gwynedd County Council

D Crunkhorn   Arriva Trains Machynlleth

C Jones  Network Rail



These were approved as a correct record.



The secretary is to make contact with the three County Councils affected to seek £250 pa each to support the work of the Committee.


To date only Shropshire has responded positively.  No response from Powys County Council.  A response is coming from Ceredigion County Council.

Invoices are to be sent out in the sums.

In the future maybe Community Councils could make a contribution.


4.00      BANK ACCOUNT

A separate bank account is to be set for the Committee.  The papers have been prepared.

The signatories to the account are to be:  Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary. Two signatures required.



An update was given on the hourly train service.  The ERTMS is due to go live in the spring.

Final trials for the ERTMS are to take place this weekend which may mean some trains will be replaced by buses.

Currently there is a commitment by the WAG on funding, the final date for implementation is still to be confirmed – sometime May to December 2011.

Concern was expressed about over crowding, however the meeting felt that the hourly service should come and then be assessed.



A general discussion took place with the following points raised:



Aberystwyth University did a students survey who used the train, 30-40% said that they used the trains.

                         Also at least 10-15% use the train to go to the university.

                        No complaints on the running of the trains.

            Problems with pre booked tickets and finding the ticket machines not working.  Arriva Trains will look into this.

                       The reference number can be given on the train. It is important to let Arriva Trains know quickly if there is a problem.

            Sunday afternoon trains are sometimes not working with bus replacement services due to rail works.

            Engineering works on the line are published on both Arriva, Network Rail and posters at stations.

            The University is to receive posters of engineering works for posting at the University.



            7.30pm train has settled down from a Police point of view at Newtown and Aberystwyth.

            Transport Police number is 0800 405040 – please all pass this number around.

            It was suggested that a postcard with the number on it could be done.  The Rail Development Office will look at this.

             More Police are to be recruited over the summer to help with the rail network policing.


            Reporting of problems

            Members are asked to encourage all to report problems to the Police number for record purposes.

            Publicity on facebook page called ‘community rail officers of Wales’ which explains what rail development does.


            Connections to Holyhead at Shrewsbury

            Could the timetable alteration be made to link the Shrewsbury-Aberystwyth to the Holyhead trains at Shrewsbury. Arriva trains are taking this on board.


            Railway congratulations

            The meeting was impressed with railway progress generally.

            Mark Williams MP joined in the congratulations of Arriva Trains.

            95.5% punctuality on the line.

           Toilets at Aberystwyth

            Station and toilets are the station are good.

            An integrated scheme for transport is being put in place.


           Can there be more posters to warn offenders.  There are posters out now.

            Church Stretton Station

           This station is to be upgraded further in the coming months.

            Railway usage

           The line is being used more today by 8% compared with 12 months ago.

           There has been a 49% increase in passengers on the Shropshire and Mid Wales lines.

            Borth station usage 2009 – 50,574 passengers and 2010 – 60,955 passengers so far.


            All Party Westminster Parliament Rail Group (Mark Williams MP)

            There is a Westminster meeting with Rail Companies and in the future and maybe the group may wish sometime to meet with this meeting.

            Perhaps the next meeting of this group could be focused on the Mid Wales railways.

            Information on the hourly service should be updated regularly.



           There is an issue of parking facilities at Machynlleth station. Passengers need to allow time for parking.

            A local arrangement has been put in place to add more parking.

           There is an issue of passengers moving into 2 coaches from 4 at this station.

            Dovey Junction

           Some minor issues only with regard to passenger usage.

            Usage of station VDU screens and information

            Lack of information on platforms sometime an issue.  The point was raised regarding giving more information on delays or bus replacements.

            The system is automated, the problem is being looked at for the future as technology improves.

            Communication problems with regard to information availability on train times etc raised as an issue (particular issue was regarding floodiing know the day before).

            This issue is being addressed.  The problem appears to be on the unmanned station.

            The plan is for all stations to have ‘real time’ information by 2015.

            Safe Crossings

            This item is being addressed for when the hourly service arrives.

            London Service

            Holding Company for both Shropshire Service and Aberystwyth Line is now the same.

           Financial constraints also have to be considered.

            Arriva Trains does not see a direct London Service from Aberystwyth for a least 12 months.


            Waiting room to close when signal box taken out of use due to ERTMS.

            Possible community use of buildings at the station and the Town Council is looking at an adoption scheme.


           The Community Plan prepared by Welshpool has indentified lack of local knowledge. This is being addressed by the Town Council locally.


7.00    RAIL DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS REPORT (to be published on the web site)

e rail development officer’s report is to be circulated prior to the meeting on the web site in future.



8.00    ARRIVA TRAINS REPORT (to be published on the web site)

The Arriva Trains Report is to be issued prior the meeting via the web site in future.

All agreed that the service provision is now excellent with very few hitches.

Points from the report included:

                Some rail timetable alterations are due to take place to stop some waiting periods.

                Aberystwyth to Birmingham International trains will be fasters.

                There will be an extra 5 trains from Shrewsbury to Birmingham starting 11.12.2010.

                During Freshers Week at the University worked with Arriva Trains to make the journey easier.

9.00   NETWORK RAIL REPORT (to be published on the web site)

The Network Rail Report is to be issued prior the meeting via the web site in future.

There was nothing specific to report.  Any questions can be answered if they are passed to them.

The questions included:

              How is the hourly service progressing. (ERTMS) – this was answered under item 5 of these minutes.

10.00    WEB SITE

The Web Site is now up and running at  http://www.welshpooltowncouncil.com/railwaypage.htm

The Committee considered its own domain web page – it was agreed that this should be organised.


The footbridge surfacing is falling into disrepair a lot more now.  It appears that WAG and Arriva own the bridge.  A letter has been sent to both the Station Manager at Machynlleth

and to WAG to see if some money could be found to repair the surfacing.

To date their has been no responses from either.  A further letter to be sent to Steve Holdaway of PCC.

12.00    REPORTS


The meeting expressed the wish that reports are issued for the meeting by Arriva, Network Rail and Rail Development on the Web Site prior to the meeting.

The secretary is to arrange for this.  The web site needs to be checked.


The reports are to be available before the meeting from the Rail related companies.

Invoices to be sent to Ceredigion and Shropshire Councils. Powys to be chased up.

Network Rail questions to be presented and published on the web site.

Letter on the Welshpool footbridge on surfacing and lighting to be sent to Steve Holdaway of Powys County Council.

Web site domain page to be put in place.

Bank account with signatories to be finalised.

The rail reports are to go out by post for this time.

New agenda process to be put in place.


To aid the meeting management all items or questions are to be on the agenda and notified to the secretary at least one week before the meeting.

These will be added to the agenda on the web site.  This will ensure that the reports will have a correct time allotment.


The idea of extra meetings was considered due to the length of time needed for discussions etc. 

The meeting resolved to hold meetings in March and October as well as the joint July meeting.


To be Friday 25th March 2011. The meeting will be held at Welshpool Town Hall at 11.15am.