Illustration copied from "Railways of the Llynfi Valley" by Clive Smith (Goldleaf Publishing, Port Talbot)
South Wales West Liberal Democrats are pressing for the upgrade to main line standard of the present single-track railway line to Maesteg, and its possible extension to Caerau. (A line used to run through to Caerau, as the section of historical map above shows, but I gather it was severed by a land-slip which it was felt at the time was not cost-effective to clear. A bus service connects trains terminating at Maesteg Castle Street with Caerau.) This should open up the Llynfi valley to employment opportunities in an area which has suffered several factory closures in the last decade. It will certainly provide extra capacity on an already over-crowded route to the capital. Commuter traffic into Cardiff can only increase, and an improved rail service will take many cars off the roads.
Liberal Democrat AM for the region Peter Black has written to Ieuan Wyn Jones, transport minister and deputy first minister, pressing the case.
The Welsh Assembly Government and Network Rail should follow up the success of "Rails in the Vale", which restored the Cardiff to Bridgend line through Llantwit Major, and give an equivalent service up the Llynfi.