A 19-day blockade on the Ebbw Vale line in South Wales was completed on time on 4 December, concluding the final stage of a two-year, £70 million project to upgrade the route to Newport.
During the latest closure, the final mile of track upgrades between Crosskeys and Crumlin were completed to form a seven-mile-long passing loop between Crosskeys and Aberbeeg.
Additional platforms at Newbridge and Llanhilleth stations were completed and the latter station gained a footbridge with lifts, making it fully accessible for the first time. Signalling was upgraded around the Park Junction area with control transferred to the Cardiff Route Operating Centre to help improve service resilience and reliability.
The project has also involved the DfT funding replacement of the Crumlin river bridge, while that over Bridge Street in Newbridge was widened and replaced.
Ebbw Vale regained its passenger service in 2008 after a 40-year gap, with a new station at Pye Corner opening in 2014, followed a year later by a 1.5-mile-long extension from Ebbw Vale Parkway to Ebbw Vale Town.