The grant will finance capacity enhancement works on the Valley Lines around Cardiff, which are due to be completed by 2023, enabling frequencies to be stepped up from two to four services per hour.

The funds comprise:

  • £23.7m for track-doubling, new platforms, step-free access, and improved passenger facilities on the Abercynon - Aberdare line
  • £27.4m for track-doubling and new platforms on the Treherbert line
  • £27.3m for a new depot at Taff’s Well, which will maintain the new South Wales Metro train fleet
  • £21.1m for track-doubling on the Quakers Yard - Merthyr Vale and Pentrebach - Merthyr Tydfil sections of the Cardiff - Merthyr line, together with new platforms and station access improvements, and
  • £19.5m for the Rhymney line, including track-doubling, new platforms and a new waiting room at Rhymney.

“The South Wales Metro is an important part of our ambition to improve public transport and better connect our valleys communities and people to employment opportunities,” Jones says. “Today’s confirmation of EU funding means we can proceed with investment in infrastructure work on the valley lines to make faster and more efficient journeys a reality for the thousands of rail users who use these routes daily.”

A KeolisAmey joint venture will take over operation of the Wales and Borders franchise in October under a 15-year deal awarded in June, which includes an £800m investment in new rolling stock for regional and South Wales metro services.