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Cardiff Central - Pontypridd - Treherbert/aberdare/merthyr Tydfil

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by Reeonix, Apr 5, 2020.

  1. Reeonix

    Reeonix Member

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    I am suggesting the route from Cardiff Central to Pontypridd and beyond is developed for Train Sim World.

    The Stations:
    The route would include the line from Cardiff Central to Merthyr Tydfil via Cardiff Queen Street. The stations would include:
    • Cardiff Central
    • Cardiff Queen Street
    • Cathays
    • Llandaf
    • Radyr
    • Taff's Well
    • Treforest Estate (Treherbert line does not stop here)
    • Treforest
    • Pontypridd [Line splits for the Treherbert branch]
    • Abercynon [Line splits for the Aberdare branch]
    • Quakers Yard
    • Merthyr Vale
    • Troed Y Rhiw
    • Pentre Bach
    • Merthyr Tydfil
    At Pontypridd the line splits offering journeys up to Treherbert. The Treherbert line includes the following stations:
    • Trehafod
    • Porth
    • Dinas Rhondda
    • Tonypandy
    • Llwynypia
    • Ystrad Rhondda
    • Ton Pentre
    • Treorchy
    • Ynysywen
    • Treherbert
    At Abercynon the line splits offering journeys up to Aberdare. The Aberdare line includes the following stations:
    • Penrhiwceiber
    • Mountain Ash
    • Fernhill
    • Cwmbach
    • Aberdare
    The trains:
    These stations are operated by Transport for Wales and use a combination of Class 142, Class 143 and Class 150/2 to service all of these stations. All of these units are two car units and multiple units are coupled together at peak times to help with demand. Usually this means coupling two units together and can sometimes be a mix of units. For example, a 150/2 leading with a 142 on the rear to add capacity. All three units are DMUs (diesel multiple units) and offer a notched throttle and braking. All three units use the same four step braking system - step 1, step 2, step 3, emergency. Both the class 142 and 143 units are due to leave service this year.
    Class 150/2:
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briti.../File:Tondu_railway_station_MMB_10_150252.jpg
    Class 142:
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briti...ile:Caerdydd_Canolog_-_Keolis_Amey_142076.JPG
    Class 143:
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_143#/media/File:143614_C_Cardiff_Central.JPG

    The Route:
    These lines see many passengers throughout the day with 2 trains per hour in each direction up in the valleys. The busiest section of the route is Cardiff Central to Pontypridd where all three lines are merged and seeing 6 trains per hour in each direction.

    The line offers the player to experience the token block system in operation. This is in operation on single lines. On the Treherbert line upon arrival at Porth the driver must exit the vehicle and call the signaller to request access the single track. If no train is occupying the line the driver gets given a token - a physical object to carry. The train is then allowed as far as Ystrad Rhondda which is a passing loop, the driver must then call the signaller and request permission to proceed to the end of the line at Treherbert. The token picked up at Porth is then placed back in Ystrad Rhondda and if the single line is free the train can proceed. Since TSW allows the player to navigate on foot this would be an opportunity for the player to leave the train during service with purpose - to go and get the token.
    If you're interested in token block system I've linked a Wikipedia article : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Token_(railway_signalling)

    The route offers different environments for the player to experience. When starting in Cardiff Central you will see dense population with some high rise buildings and busy stations seeing much traffic around. When departing Radyr the line becomes more scenic with much greenery to see and landmarks such as Castell Coch (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castell_Coch) up in the hills as you travel up to Pontypridd however still very busy with trains only 5-10 minutes before and after you. When arriving into Pontypridd you will feel the effect of a busier area with Pontypridd being a very busy station during peak hours. As you depart Pontypridd you will again enter a more scenic environment however this time with much less traffic. Then you will get to experience the single line operations when further up the valleys.

    As the driver you must make sure to keep to the timetable as the slightest delay from you will cause trouble to others waiting to enter that section of track. After Pontypridd the stations aren't that exciting and usually just a simple platform however the route offers very scenic views everywhere and offers a good challenge to the player and tests their driving skills. Most of the valley stations are on a gradient and require lots of practice to get the stop right - especially in bad weather which this areas sees often.

    Some images of the line:
    Cardiff Central Station

    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardi...ile:Cardiff_Central_station_(26526139271).jpg

    Cardiff Queen Street
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardi...edia/File:Cardiff_Queen_St._(19366639218).jpg

    Pontypridd Station
    [​IMG]
    https://c8.alamy.com/comp/f7yf4c/pontypridd-train-station-in-pontypridd-south-wales-f7yf4c.jpg

    Ystrad Rhondda Passing Loop Station
    [​IMG]

    http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/02/79/34/2793410_e64427bf.jpg

    Treherbert Station
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trehe...erbert_railway_station_(geograph_5521727).jpg

    Aberdare Station
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aberd...erdare_railway_station_(geograph_5510248).jpg

    Merthyr Tydfil Station
    [​IMG]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merth...tation,_Merthyr_Tydfil_(geograph_4049515).jpg

    EDIT: I forgot to mention one last detail. All Transport for Wales trains that operate in the valleys are serviced in Canton Depot which is to west of Cardiff Central station and would allow the player to start morning services and end evening services in the depot. I have attached an image below from Google Maps of what Canton Depot looks like and as you see Cardiff Central Station in the distance. Some services however will end in the head of the valley. For example, the last Treherbert service is then kept overnight at Treherbert station or sidings to form the first 6am service down to Penarth via Cardiff Central.
    Annotation 2020-04-06 182933.png
    https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place...e64707265679909!8m2!3d51.4749764!4d-3.1948779

    EDIT 2: Last edit I promise. I forgot to mention route length (what is a pretty important factor at the moment it seems).

    Cardiff Central to Merthyr Tydfil is 20 miles with it taking an average time of 1hour 3 minutes to complete the journey. https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/cardiff-central-to-merthyr-tydfil

    Pontypridd to Treherbert is 10 miles with it taking an average time of 37 minutes to complete the journey. https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/pontypridd-to-treherbert

    Abercynon to Aberdare is 7 miles with it taking an average time of 26 minutes to complete the journey. https://www.thetrainline.com/train-times/abercynon-to-aberdare

    This would mean a total distance of 37 miles in one DLC which with two trains the 142 and 150/2 doesn't seem too terrible.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my suggestion!
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2020
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  2. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    Very nice suggestion hope it can find it's way into TSW some day
     
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  3. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member

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    I would like this route but I would absolutely love it if set in the 1970s or 80s when there was still heavy coal traffic in the valleys and first generation DMUs instead of Pacers. An excellent suggestion. Just my personal preference to have freight as well as passenger services.
     
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  4. Reeonix

    Reeonix Member

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    I would also like the route as it was back then - I want both modern and old versions lol. It would be interesting driving those heavy freight trains around and seeing Merthyr Tydfil with all the platforms and siding instead of just a single platform. And the old Queen Street building before they demolished it. But I think I'd prefer it was done how it was today first.
    They could wait a little until places start to change with the upgrades Transport for Wales have planned and model the route with all the work being done in it's 'transformation' period to increase capacity. That would involve the 769s and 150/s though as pacers should be gone by the time they start doing actual work but it would make the route look interesting with stations being worked on and machinery around everywhere. And as much as I enjoy driving heavy freight trains I get that out of NTP and TVL at the moment and there isn't really a DMU stopping route in the UK like the valleys for TSW at the moment. The 166 is on a straight, flat mainline and the 101 isn't modern but it is fun to drive!
     
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  5. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member

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    Imagine one day, each new route was supplied with a choice of eras. Unlikely at the moment but maybe one day...
     
  6. Trim

    Trim Active Member

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    Steam locomotives at Mountain Ash - I remember them! https://flic.kr/p/9LWbCv
    No passenger service to Abardare back in those days, of course. I don't think the Aberdare branch would have seen first generation DMUs after it reopened to passengers.

    However, what we will probably be given instead is Queen Street to Bute Road/Cardiff Bay. I suppose this does at least offer the chance of both a first generation class 121 (in use until 2013) and a sprinter class 153 (I cannot bring myself to call 153s in any way "super" with their ugly rivetted body panels).
     
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  7. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member

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    Some wonderful atmospheric pictures there! I wonder if we'll ever see an industry based route, a large steelworks or colliery system for example. Not very likely I suppose, at least until third party developers start to come on stream. There must be a few other people like me who would enjoy such a thing. At least we'd get a complete route. ;)
     
  8. Reeonix

    Reeonix Member

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    Even if the route was developed in it's current state it would be nice to see some use from the older traction like the 37 from TVL to either have a single service in service mode like ECW or a rail tour type scenario if it wouldn't work in service mode. As I'm aware some older diesel traction like that use to make the occasional return to the valleys. And to help with demand the 37s were put back on the Rhymney line very recently.

    I should add, the reason I suggested the valley lines via Pontypridd is because that's a lot of track work and would add some variety given the Treherbert and Aberdare branch lines compared to the single A to B with the Rhymney line. However I would also like to see this line recreated in TSW in the future too.
     
  9. Reeonix

    Reeonix Member

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    Well, with the announcement of ALL Arriva Trains Wales products being removed from stores for Train Simulator it's a shame to see no Welsh content available for Train Simulator to purchase for the foreseeable future. Creating either this route or another section of Wales like the North Wales or South Wales coastal routes would bring Welsh routes back but with, hopefully, much higher quality with Train Sim World. It's a shame to see now only two routes will be available for purchase "Corris Railway Route Add-On" and the Maerdy addons.
     

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