I'm surprised that we don't yet have a thread for this development. Having used Central a few times recently I can say there is some work being done opposite platform 7. It appears as if there is a new platform being built along with a very modest platform/waiting area. The build is directly on top of road/tarmac that is currently there. It is going to be very spartan and utilitarian and I doubt the back entrance development is going to be anything other than something like Bristol Parkway at best.
It is early days yet but it appears as if it will resemble platform 0 in functionality. Whoever allowed this to go through at the council needs a period of introspection. This was an opportunity to make a statement of Cardiff's ambition and instead we'll end up with a commuter belt station entrance at best.
Jantra, There was a thread concerning the improvements to Cardiff Central and Queen Street Stations. Sorry I can't seem to find it at present. However both are getting extra platform(s) and a new rear entrance building in the case of Central and a new entrance building at Queen Street.
Network Rail have acknowledged that the schemes at Central and Queen St are not as high quality as they should be but due to lack of cash they are the best they can do.
Considering these are the 2 busiest stations in Wales I think the money should be found to do it properly. We can't be talking about an insurmountable sum.
Has anyone got any photos??
If only Central wasn't an so scruffy and 'small town' when you arrived...imagine if it was like Reading! Or Manchester Piccaddily...
Havent Network Rail spent all their money on the Ryder Cup at Newport
HA! Which I note now looks awful - the new platform shelter has gone green and is covered in dust and all the paint that was redone is back to how it was.
Newport, is perhaps in a worse state than Cardiff, but is the first major station you get to in Wales...
Manchester Piccadilly is a big city station.. It is also a terminus which I think makes it more of a destination in its own right. It's a nice station though I prefer Victoria architecturally
Reading is really greater London west
The new south entrance at Central actually looks OK, but i'll hold judgement until they finish it. This is happening along with one new platform, all together it seem's quite short sighted.
Reading handles a third more passengers while Piccadilly handle's a little under a half more passenger's. Saying that though I would be happy with a third of what Reading's seem's to be getting!
I always wondered why the bay service never went to Central, but I think it may be down to capacity issue's, which are only going to get worse with more people using the station especially with electrification of the valley line's and the GW line.
So have they started the new entrance?
The front entrance could do with a bit of work too I feel... new doors??
Isn't the new platform specifically for the bay? Or am I mistaken?
To be fair, the redevelopment of Reading was required to alleviate a bottleneck - presumably the opportunity to improve its design/appearance etc was also taken simultaneously to redesigning the tracks.
I haven't looked at what's been going on recently but if it's being scaled back it's a shame. Typical British inability to think long term. Is one extra platform really going to be enough in 20 years? 30?
Frank - it's not that it's been scaled back - there was no vision (other than a small town provincial one) there to commence with.
Not even the artists impressions of the schemes managed to illicit any excitement from me. Unlike most of the WG politicos in the transport department and the Network Rail decision makers, I actually use the trains
We just don't cut it on the rail front in Cardiff. Our main station is a small collection of platforms attached to an attractive yet small entrance (akin to the sort of station you would expect at Brighton or Harrogate) whilst the 'second' station is just a nondescript undeveloped turd which you'd expect to find on an end of line spoke on a dated 1970's metropolitan network.
Off to Manchester this weekend for a dose of how transport is operated there including 3 free circular city centre buses, trams, train stations with newsagents and left luggage facilities etc !
Of course I meant to say elicit not illicit
As I recall the proposed frontage to Queen St was not dissimilar to a Sainsbury's Local. I don't know how many passengers per annum Queen St has but I think I'm right in saying it's Wales 2nd busiest station. Presumably when the Valley Lines are electrified passengers will increase considerably. And yet the station will look like something you'd expect to see in Carshalton.
In the meantime Bham New street gets a cool billion spent on it, Reading a few hundred million etc. I'd say we were getting the shitty end of the stick when it comes to rail funding.
Does anyone know if the Victorian façade at the back of Central Station will be retained?
Mo - is there a Victorian facade of any note at the back?
Wales' underfunding in terms of network infrastructure has been debated to death on this forum. Over the years I have researched a great deal and posted on here under my many varied usernames. There is no doubt whatsoever that Cardiff Central is the least-invested-in major station in the UK. It is the nexus for over 100 commuter stations in SE Wales as well as being a major regional and inter-city station.
I know that Mark Barry has put his expertise into producing a number of reports and that the electrification of the south Wales commuter network and the line linking Swansea and London has finally come about, partly as a result of Mark's work. Maybe Mark could now address the state of our most important stations in Wales and give a nudge to his friends in the Labour party. It is a scandal that they have not received the level of investment that many stations in England have received.
I'm not sure it is entirely the WA. Network Rail are incredibly useless. I see that Sir David Higgins is leaving Network Rail - even he has seen it is useless and he runs it!
Erm, I think Brighton also has a more 'major' station too actually...
Yeah - they can do as they please at the back - its absolutely horrible at present...
IE, That's a pretty rude post from you isn't it?
Unless I'm mistaken, RedDragon was actually stating that Brighton does indeed have a 'better' station than Cardiff (he was referencing to my earlier post that Cardiff Central has the kind of station that I would expect at Brighton...).
He wasn't inferring that Brighton deserves to be above Cardiff in the pecking order of 'rail importance', he was merely stating that when compared to its peers (and I don't mean Swansea and Newport) that Cardiff Central has a distinct small town feel to it.
Why are people so hung up about this? Historically, Cardiff's size and stature meant we were never going to get anything more grander than what we have currently. There are larger cities such as Nottingham, Leicester and Sheffield
which have stations that aren't that much more bigger or grander in scale than ours (although Sheffield is a good template to follow). The fact that the city is an administrative capital is largely an irrelevance.
Another thing, the Edwardian redevelopment of the station took place at a time when the city was smaller than Plymouth; unsurprisingly the latter has a very similar sized station to Cardiff, and also lacks a roof over the platforms, but the main passenger concourse was re-built in the 60s and is now this hideous brutalist thing. Essentially my point is that some might complain about CDF Central's lack of... scale and grandeur, and the lack of redevelopment in the past however more likely than not we'd probably have ended up with something awful and I'd much have what we have at the moment than this:
Granted the areas around Cardiff Central leave a lot to be desired but at least the Edwardian terminal has a palpable elegance to it. Can't say the same about Plymouth.
That's the very kind of perspective that has gotten us into the position that we now find ourselves in. Compare with the worst and settle for second best.
I thought the station was rebuilt in the 1930's? And the concourse is the best thing about it in my view - I think it's quite elegant.
I agree about it being difficult to historically justify Cardiff having a grand railway station. However we are talking about now when Cardiff Central is - after the London stations - one of the busiest in the UK and will get busier. We are also talking about refurbishment of an existing station and not asking for it to be rebuilt. Whats being built now really is bargain basement architecture.
The great age of rail investment was in the mid-19th century. At the time Cardiff was little more than a medium sized town. It's no surprise we don't have a station displaying much grandeur. My main concern with redevelopment is how long will it deal with capacity. Electrification of the local lines could lead to considerably increased numbers travelling. Are the expansion plans bold/long term enough
You can't really judge an area such as Cardiff v Nottingham/Leicester by its city boundaries or continuous urban area. Whilst Nottingham is slightky bigger in both senses, cardiffs metro area includes the valleys and is 1m plus people. That's the size of Sheffield/ Rotherham or Liverpool/ Birkenhead
If Station usage stats can be a guide. From ORR figures for 2012 for station entries and exits .......
Manchester Picadilly 18.5M
Cardiff Central 11.5M
Bristol Templ Meads 8.9M
Cardiff Queen St 2.5M
Bristol Parkway 2.3M
Although the horse has already been flogged, it is all Thatcher's fault due to the idiotic way in which the British Rail system has been 'privatised'. Wales will always be considered as 'End of the Line' if the 'British' Government or a 'British' subsidy controls the rails themselves. Hopefully WAG's intent on creating a Glas Cymry style company for the rails will help change things.
Firstly, I don't think Central is that bad at all. The front entrance is fairly grand and pretty attractive. Central Square lets it down, and yes it's a tad on the small size, but generally it's fairly grand. I also don't get the obsession with a station having a roof..I just fundementally don't get that.
That said, I recognise that Central would benefit from some improvements, and it's good to see the rear being enhanced. I'll reserve judgement until it's complete, but it looks okay to me. It's a fairly constricted small entrance, i think what is proposed is appropriate.
I am however disapointed with rail investment in Wales generally, as we are so close to a great metro system in Cardiff. The problem is simple: rail spend is not devolved. As I understand it Scotland gets a %age of all UK spend, so when £1bn is spent at Birmingham, Scotland automatically gets £70m or so. I may be wrong, but that's my understand.
Blame the devolution settlement!
Redragon, I am sorry for any offence I have caused. I do get worked up about this issue.
I believe that only Glasgow, Liverpool, West Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, Birmingham and London have dense multi-line commuter rail networks. South-east Wales does too but ours is the only one that isn't electrified. Bristol, Nottingham/Derby, Stoke, Southampton/Portsmouth, Aberdeen, Dundee, Plymouth, Bournemouth, Leicester, Brighton, Hull, Sheffield/Rotherham and Teeside don't have these commuter networks in situ but most of them have an electrified rail link to London/elsewhere and/or a modern tram system.
I know that Plymouth and Bristol don't have trams or electric trains but they don't have what we have in the Cardiff city region, this incredible legacy of rail lines and stations that has been criminally under invested in. This underinvestment has held our economy back.
The only reason that I can think of to explain this lack of investment is prejudice against Wales. All of the cost/benefit analyses have shown conclusively that the investement was a no-brainer. As SP says we should have had Barnett consequentials but the devolution settlement was a travesty. Thameslink upgrade, Crossrail, HS1and have cost £35 billion so we should have had £2 bn approximately. ...and..we HAVEN'T!
without wanting to start a nationalist rant or a political argument - why is the Barnett settlement a travesty? We get more than we put in, we have a higher amount spend on benefits and welfare (the largest part of public expenditure) compared to everywhere else. You don't see every other area asking for a reduction in our settlement because we get more than other areas in welfare spending. it appears some Welsh people want it all. When there is a certain amount of money available you have to make a choice of whether you spend it on benefits or investment. The welsh prefer benefits rather than long term investment, certtainly to date they have
Jantra, surely you recognise a link between a lack of 'positive' government investment in infrastructure and a higher 'negative' government expenditure in welfare.
I suppose it all depends on what what Whitehall decides to give Wales in the next devolution settlement. If we achieve parity with Scotland and NI then we should see the ability to borrow and have some tax responsibility. Not that many people have much confidence in how these powers would be used down The Bay but I'm sure that they would use it to fund the chronic lack of investment in our infrastructure. The buck will then stop with them and there could be no more blame games.
I thought one of the points of electrification was to entice more people to use the railways - because it will be faster, more frequent, cleaner, more comfortable etc etc. If this comes to pass then more trains will run to fulfil the more frequent services and more people will enter/exit the station. That's my logic anyway.
Also if the Cardiff Metro thing gets off the ground won't there be additional services/lines?
Cheaper is what everyone wants. Obviously speed and efficiency are important, but moreso for the operators.
Passenger figure trends are already on the up, nationally, aren't they? Plus, it would always be nice to have larger more salubrious station. I just don't see that there's much of a case that Cardiff Central will be physically too small to cater for demand any time soon. The reason that it's small, is that for all intents (not counting the Valley line), it's just a single east/west line.
I don't think I'm arguing for a vastly enlarged Cardiff Central. I'm just pissed off that the improvements to the rear and to Queen St look a bit cheap and nasty.
While waiting to catch my train the other day I was looking at the large map of Cardiff in the Station concourse.
It still has the Ice Rink and Oxford arcade on it. I reckon it is about 10 years old.
What sort of impression does this give of Cardiff, does anyone who works there give a hoot!
You would think someone from SD2 or JL would give them a ring?.
That is the problem, who do you contact? I tried googling to find out who runs Cardiff Station FGW, Arriva or Network Rail. I gave up.
Anyone know who looks after it and how to contact them?
It's managed by Arriva Trains Wales Zach
CARDIFFWALESMAP - FORUM