Cardiff City Line

The City Line is a commuter railway line in Cardiff that runs between Radyr and Cardiff Central via Fairwater.

Cardiff City Line
Class142 Danescourt Up3.jpg
A Class 142 train approaches Danescourt
en route to Coryton
TypeHeavy Rail
SystemNational Rail
TerminiCardiff Central
OwnerNetwork Rail
Operator(s)Transport for Wales
Rolling stockdiesel multiple units of
Pacer classes 142 and 143 and
Sprinter classes 150 and 153
Line lengthmiles 66 chains (7.8 km)[1]
Number of tracksdouble track throughout
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Route map
Merthyr and Rhondda lines
to Pontypridd
Waun-gron Park
Ninian Park
Cardiff Central
Cardiff Queen Street


The line was opened by the Taff Vale Railway in 1859, as part of its route from Radyr to the docks at Penarth.[2] Subsequent construction by the TVR added links to Cardiff Central and to the Penarth Extension Railway by 1878. Originally the line was freight-only, but over the years saw regular use for empty passenger trains thanks to its links with the depot at Cardiff Canton TMD and also for football specials to Ninian Park stadium and periodic engineering diversions.[3]

The first regular passenger service was introduced to the line on 5 October 1987, when three new stations were opened at Waun-gron Park, Fairwater and Danescourt, and regular service was introduced to the previously existing Ninian Park station. The new service was introduced by British Rail in co-operation with the Mid Glamorgan and South Glamorgan County Councils.[4]


There are currently trains every half hour which drop to every hour in the evenings on Mondays-Saturdays. There is no Sunday service on the line.

The line serves these stations:

Services normally continue to Coryton via the Coryton Line.

Transport for Wales currently operates the line as part of the former Valley Lines network. TfW succeeded the previous franchisee Arriva Trains Wales in October 2018. Some freight services also use the line.

The line is also used as a diversionary route for trains serving Merthyr Tydfil, Aberdare and Treherbert when the line between Cardiff Queen Street and Radyr is closed for engineering work. In the past there were shuttle trains on the line to serve Pontypridd and beyond with one stop at Ninian Park.


ATW operates the line with diesel multiple units of Pacer classes 142 and 143 and Sprinter classes 150 and 153. The Pacers do not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and so will have to be withdrawn by 2019.


On 16 July 2012 plans the Department for Transport announced plans to electrify the line. This will require new electric multiple unit trains and should reduce journey times, operating costs and maintenance costs. The DfT intends the work to start between 2014 and 2019.[5]

The announcement was made as an extension of the electrification of the South Wales Main Line from Cardiff Central to Swansea and the electrification of the south Wales Valley Lines at a total cost of £350 million.[5] This in turn is part of a £9.4 billion investment in railways in England and Wales.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Yonge, John; Padgett, David (August 2010) [1989]. Bridge, Mike (ed.). Railway Track Diagrams 3: Western (5th ed.). Bradford on Avon: Trackmaps. maps 22 & 28B. ISBN 978-0-9549866-6-7.
  2. ^ Grace's Guide – Penarth Dock & Harbour Railway; Retrieved 12 September 2013
  3. ^ Wales Rail – Cardiff City Line; Retrieved 12 September 2013
  4. ^ Walters, Laurence (1995). Railways of Cardiff. Ian Allan Ltd. p. 80. ISBN 0-7110-2380-8.
  5. ^ a b "Rail electrification to Swansea and south Wales valleys welcomed". BBC Online. 16 July 2012.
  6. ^ "£9bn railway investment announced by coalition". BBC Online. 16 July 2012.