The Rhymney Line is the name given to the railway services in the Rhymney valley, South Wales. The route runs north from Cardiff to Heath, Llanishen, via a tunnel through Caerphilly mountain, onto Caerphilly, Bargoed and Rhymney.
The name comes from the fact that the original line followed was part of the Rhymney Railway's system.
The line is currently operated by Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) as part of the Valley Lines network. ATW replaced the previous franchise, Wales & Borders Trains in December 2003.
The line has four trains an hour as far as Bargoed with some extended to Rhymney. Signalling changes early in 2006 allowed this increase to 4 trains per hour, previously there were just 3. The Sunday service is every 2 hours, though this now runs all the day since Dec 2005. Three trains per hour continue onto Penarth.
The Rhymney line was one of the final two routes worked by Class 37/4 diesel locomotives on passenger trains (the other being the West Highland Line).
Some peak hour and Saturday services were formed of one Class 37/4 locomotive and four Mk. 2F carriages. Two locomotives received special heritage repaints into 1960s BR Green livery (no. 37411) or 1980s BR Blue Large Logo livery (no. 37425) to mark the end of locomotive-hauled trains. Sadly two Class 37s (nos. 37425 and 37408) were involved in a runaway situation and collided at Rhymney Sidings on 30 July 2005. Number 37408 was withdrawn, and replaced by previously stored no. 37419. Number 37425 was repaired, but whilst it was out of traffic, Class 47 locomotives were hired from Riviera Trains as cover. Class 37-hauled trains finished on 10 December 2005, however in the new year Arriva received complaints from commuters about comfort and over-crowding, so reinstated a Monday to Friday diagram, operating a morning train into Cardiff, and an evening train back to Rhymney, usually using 37410. With the December 2006 timetable change this service reverted to DMU, and with Arriva Trains Wales said to be disposing of its loco hauled stock, it would appear as though the end of loco haulage on the line has finally come.
Rhymney Line - Principal stations