- Cardiff Central railway station
Infobox UK station
Arriva Trains Wales
borough=City and County of Cardiff
caption=Frontage of Cardiff Central station
It is the largest and busiest in Cardiff itself and in Wales. It is one of the major stations of the British rail network, being the tenth busiest station in the United Kingdom, outside of London [Data from the 06/07 station usage] .
The station is managed by
Arriva Trains Waleswho operate most services. First Great Westernand CrossCountryalso serve the station. It is a major hub for the Valley Linessuburban services (several lines in Cardiff and the surrounding valleys), First Great Western Intercity services to Bristol and London, and CrossCountryservices to Nottinghamand Edinburgh. It serves as an interchange between the rest of South and West Wales to major English and Scottish towns and cities.
The station was known as "Cardiff General" until 7 May 1973 [ [http://pirate.cardiffschools.net/index1.htm Cardiff Timeline] ] . It is located near the
Millennium Stadiumon Central Square in the city centre. It is one of 21 railway stations in the city, and one of the two main stations, the other being Cardiff Queen Street.
The whole station including the Water Tower close to platform 0 is Grade II listed.
In the early 1840s the
South Wales Railwaywere trying to find a suitable site for a new railway station, however, the area that is now Cardiff Central railway station was prone to flooding. It was Isambard Kingdom Brunel's solution to divert the River Tafffurther to the west, this created a larger and safer site for the building of the new railway station.cite web |url= http://cricketarchive.com/Glamorgan/History/Cardiff_Arms_Park/Creation.html|publisher=Cardiff Council |title= Cardiff Arms Park, A short History - The Creation of the Arms Park |accessdate=2008-05-22]
The station was opened by the South Wales Railway in 1850. Its successor company, the
Great Western Railway, rebuilt it in 1932 as is marked by the name carved onto the façade (larger than the name of the station). The formerly separate "Cardiff Riverside" suburban station of 1893 was integrated into the main station in 1940 but its platforms ceased to be used for passenger traffic in the 1960s [cite book|author=Barrie, D.S.M.|title=A Regional History of the Railways of Great Britain, vol. 12: South Wales|publisher=David & Charles|year=1980 ISBN-10|0-7153-7970-4] .
The railway station plaza, Central Square, accommodates
Cardiff central bus station.
There are two entrances, the first and main of which, is on Central Square and accessed from Wood Street, adjacent to
Cardiff central bus stationand two main taxi ranks. This entrance leads to the station's main concourse.
The other entrance is at the rear of the station, accessed from Tresillian Way / St. Mary Street, where the station's car park is found. The railway tracks are above the two subways, which run parallel under the tracks linking the two main entrances and the platforms are accessed by stairs and lifts. From both entrances, a valid ticket is required to pass through a barrier and gain access to the platforms.
The majority of facilities are located on the main concourse. These include:
*Ticket Desks and Machines
W H Smith
*Upper Crust Take Away
*Marks and Spencer Simply Food
Burger King(on Central Square)
Toilets, vending machines and waiting rooms are found on all islands. An Upper Crust café is situated on platforms 1 and 2.
Cycle parking is available in the Wood Street car park. Cycles can be taken on most trains without a reservation, unless on
CrossCountryservices and trains to London Paddington when a reservation must be made at least two hours before departure.
Cardiff Central currently has seven platforms, numbered 0, 1, 2, 3a/b, 4a/b, 6 and 7.
Platform 0 is not accessed by the main subways to the platforms, it is accessed by a staircase at the west of the station next to the
Marks and Spencerstore. Platform 0 is mainly used for the following services: CrossCountry:
* Nottingham via Birmingham New Street and Derby usually operated by Class 170 'Turbostar' units
* Edinburgh via Birmingham New Street, Derby, Doncaster and Newcastle operated by a Cross Country Voyager
Arriva Trains Wales:
Platform 1 is mainly used for the following services:
Arriva Trains Wales: CrossCountry: First Great Western:
* London Paddington via Bristol Parkway, Swindon and Reading usually operated by High Speed Trains
*Taunton via Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare
*Portsmouth Harbour via Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-super-Mare, Bath Spa, Salisbury, Southampton Central, Cosham and Portsmouth and Southsea
Platform 2 is used for the following services:
Arriva Trains Wales:
* Cheltenham Spa via Gloucester usually operated by Class 158 'Express Sprinters' that have originated from Maesteg.
* Manchester Piccadilly via Newport, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Crewe usually operated by Class 175 'Coradia' units that have originated from either Carmarthen or Milford Haven.
* Holyhead via Newport, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Wrexham General and Chester usually operated by Class 175 'Coradia' units that start here.
CrossCountry: First Great Western:
Platforms 3 and 4 are divided into 'A' and 'B' sections and are thus capable of holding two local trains or a single HST train. Unlike at Birmingham New Street, however, these are not separately signalled and it is not uncommon for the other platforms to be used by more than one train.Platform 3 is used for the following services:
Arriva Trains Wales: First Great Western:
Platform 4 mainly acts as a terminus platform but can be used as a spare for platform 3 if for whatever reason the latter is unavailable. The following services that depart from platform 4 are:
Arriva Trains Wales: First Great Westernand CrossCountryservices from London Paddington and Nottingham respectively will terminate at platform 4. Also the 14:22 CrossCountryservice from Newcastle which arrives at Cardiff Central at 20:19 will terminate at platform 4. CrossCountry:
Platform 6 is used for
Valley Linesservices to the north and east of Cardiff and to the Valleys. Every single train that departs from platform 6 will call at Cardiff Queen Street. The following services that depart from platform 6 are: Arriva Trains Wales:
* Coryton via Cardiff Queen Street, Heath Low Level, Ty Glas, Birchgrove, Rhiwbina and Whitchurch.
* Bargoed via Cardiff Queen Street, Caerphilly and Ystrad Mynach
* Rhymney via Cardiff Queen Street, Ystrad Mynach, Bargoed and Tir-Phil.
* Merthyr Tydfil via Cardiff Queen Street, Radyr, Pontypridd, Abercynon and Quakers Yard.
* Aberdare via Cardiff Queen Street, Radyr, Pontypridd, Abercynon and Mountain Ash.
* Treherbert via Cardiff Queen Street, Radyr, Pontypridd, Tonypandy, Llwynypia, Ystrad Rhondda, Ton Pentre, Treorchy and Ynyswen.
Platform 7 is used for
Valley Linesservices to the west of Cardiff and services to the Vale of Glamorgan. The following services that depart from platform 6 are: Arriva Trains Wales:
* Radyr via Ninian Park, Waun-Gron Park, Fairwater and Danescourt.
* Penarth via Grangetown and Dingle Road.
* Barry Island via Grangetown, Dinas Powys and Barry.
* Bridgend via Grangetown, Dinas Powys, Barry, Rhoose (for Cardiff International Airport) and Llantwit Major.
Platform 7 is also used for services from Treherbert that terminate at Cardiff Central.
Arriva Trains Wales
* Maesteg via Bridgend
*Cheltenham Spa via Gloucester
Manchester Piccadillyvia Newport, Hereford, Shrewsbury and Crewe
*Holyhead via Newport, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Wrexham General and Chester
*Milford Haven via Bridgend, Swansea and Carmarthen
*Ebbw Vale Parkway via Rogerstone, Risca and Pontymister and Newbridge
*Radyr via Fairwater
*Coryton via Heath Low Level and Rhiwbina
*Merthyr Tydfil via Cardiff Queen Street, Pontypridd and Abercynon
*Aberdare via Cardiff Queen Street, Llandaf, Pontypridd and Abercynon
*Treherbert via Cardiff Queen Street, Llandaf, Pontypridd and Ystrad Rhondda
*Rhymney via Cardiff Queen Street, Llanishen, Caerphilly and Ystrad Mynach
*Bridgend via Barry, Rhoose Cardiff International Airport and Llantwit Major
*Penarth via Grangetown and Dingle Road
CrossCountry First Great Western
London Paddingtonvia Newport, Bristol Parkway and Swindon using High Speed Trains
*Portsmouth Harbour via Newport,
Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa and Southampton Central usually operated by Express Sprinters
Bristol Temple Meadsand Weston-super-Mare, usually operated by Sprinter units or Pacer units
*Swansea via Bridgend and Port Talbot Parkway using High Speed Trains.
Cardiff Central bus station
Cardiff Central bus station is the central point of reference for all local and national
busservices in Cardiff. The terminal contains six covered ranks on the north side for most Cardiff Busas well as other services. Long-distance services to the valleys and coach services, e.g. TrawsCambriaand National Express, run from rank A at the north end. Stops either side of Wood Street, which runs alongside the main terminal, are used mainly for departures to Barry, Penarth, Heath Hospital, Cardiff Bay, Caerau, Ely and Tremorfa.
The railway station also has a dedicated bus stop on the south side of the station, referred to as "rear of the station" by station staff. On National Rail departure boards this is sometimes referred to as Cardiff Central Bus Stn "CCB". The stop is also used for Rail Replacement services and Cardiff Bus BayCar service.
Buses run weekdays from early morning (around 05:00) to late at night, the last services leaving at 23:20 on almost all major routes.
Cardiff International Airport rail link
Cardiff International Airportis situated 12 miles east of Cardiff city centre. In 2005, a section of the Vale of Glamorgan Line was re-opened between Barry and Bridgend. Ever since, there have been services to Rhoose Cardiff International Airport railway stationonce every hour for most of the day (Monday-Saturday) and a two-hourly service on Sunday. At the airport station, passengers must take additional transport. There is a free shuttle provided to take passengers to the main terminal. Buses to and from the airport appear on the National Rail Enquiries website.
Traffic levels on the London Paddington route are rising faster than national average, with continued increases predicted. The now defunct Strategic Rail Authority produced a
Route Utilisation Strategy( RUS) for the Great Western Main Line in 2005 to propose ways of meeting this demand, Network Rail plan to implement a new study in 2008. In the meantime, their 2007 Business Plan includes the provision of extra platform capacity at Cardiff Central (as well as Newport and Bristol Parkway), also resignalling and line speed improvements in South Wales, most of which would be delivered in 2010-2014.
List of railway stations in Wales
Transport in Wales
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