A NEW £5.2m railway station in Caerphilly county borough was officially opened on Monday.
Network Rail held a ceremony to mark the completion of the new European and Welsh Government funded Energlyn and Churchill Park, located just north of Caerphilly town.
Work began on the station, which is situated between Aber and Llanbradach on the Rhymney Valley line, in early summer and the station opened to the public last week.
Edwina Hart, the Minister for Transport, officially opened the station and said: “This new station will help meet the growing demand for rail services in this area. We want to see more people use the train to access jobs and services.
“Our investment here and in other stations across Wales is evidence of our commitment to improving rail services and reducing reliance on the car.”
Energlyn and Churchill Park station is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, and was delivered by Network Rail, working in partnership with its principle contractors Morgan Sindall and Colas Rail.
The station includes two six-carriage length platforms and step-free access as well as a small car park, CCTV, waiting shelters, ticket machines, and a bicycle storage area.
Passengers using the facility will benefit from direct rail access to and from Cardiff, and Rhymney-bound services, operated by Arriva Trains Wales.
Mark Langman, Route Managing Director for Network Rail Wales, said: “More and more people now choose to travel by rail to get to and from work and to access leisure activities. The new station will ultimately have significant economic and social benefits for those living in the growing communities in the north Caerphilly area by improving access to jobs, education and training opportunities in Cardiff and elsewhere along the line.”
Several members of Caerphilly council were in attendance on Monday, including the cabinet member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering.
Councillor Tom Williams said: “The county borough has seen a steady increase in passenger demand in recent years and a new station will cater for the growing communities just north of Caerphilly town – it’s a significant development for the area and one that is very welcome.”
The work at the station is part of a wider £220m scheme to improve the railway in Cardiff and the Valleys by 2015.