Friday, 24 July 2009


We should all welcome the announcement that the main railway from Swansea to London will finally be electrified – this is very good news. This announcement follows long months of hard negotiations by Plaid Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones who has put pressure on the UK government and Network Rail to change their previously announced plans to only electrify the track between London and Bristol.

Originally it had been suggested that the electrification work on the Great Western would stop at Bristol and Wales would be left out of this plan, but after an immense amount of work by Ieuan Wyn Jones as Transport minister and as Plaid’s leader, things have been turned around. Plaid has been fighting since 1977 to ensure that Wales gets its share of rail electrification – the benefits of electrification have been proven in other countries. This will truly be one of the lasting legacies of Plaid’s first term in government.

Electrified Rail in Europe

Switzerland: 100%
Sweden: 77%
Netherlands: 73%
Italy: 69%
Germany: 56%
Spain: 56%
UK: 40%

Source: UIC Website:

Electrified Rail in Wales (After 12 years of New Labour Government).

Wales: 0%

So today really is a very good day for the Welsh economy after all the hard work that has been put in by Ieuan Wyn Jones. Now it is important to focus on getting the job done, ensuring that the plan is taken forward, that any disruption to services is minimised and it is important to make sure that any new government does not back out of this commitment. It is also essential that the Welsh section of this work is begun and is carried out as soon as possible in order to provide a timely boost to the economy in the South East and elsewhere in Wales. Nice one Ieuan!

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