The Vale Of Glamorgan line runs through the rich agriculture land of South Wales, between the mountains and the coast south and west of Cardiff. Opened in 1897 as a double track line throughout, the line ran from Barry to Bridgend via Aberthaw and Llantwit Major
Near the airport, the line passes over the impressive Porthkerry viaduct.
This caused problems during construction when it subsided and partially collapsed.
This delayed the eventual opening of the line for over a year while the viaduct was rebuilt. However, in January 1898, just a month after opening, a sizeable crack was detected in the viaduct, and it was discovered that it had badly subsided again. It was to be over two years before the viaduct was repaired and usable again, with a hastily built loop line carrying traffic while the viaduct was under repair.
Amidst the usual howls of protest the Glamorgan Vale line closed to passengers in 1964.
It was the growth of cheap flights that formed part of the campaign to re-open which ultimately came to fruition in 2005.
Gwennol Maes Awyr Caerdydd
The recent steady decline in airport use has prompted the Welsh Assembly to buy the business and, to make travel easier, to introduce an express bus service. The whole process was almost a panic measure with just two weeks from award of contract to start of the service on August 1st. First bus drew the short straw!
So the future must be debatable. There is a locally unpopular proposal ...
Meanwhile, the government(s) have just announced the "big-spend" electrification of the whole Cardiff local area, riding on the back of the Great Western main line scheme.
Exciting but uncertain times for Maes Awyr Caerdydd!
28 year old Zippo Circus strongman, Denys llchenko from the Ukraine was aiming to pull one of First's Double Deckers five metres with his teeth and in doing so beat the 12.36 tonne world record. First's double decker weighed around 12.1 tonnes and so the bus was topped up with volunteers to ensure it weighed more than the current record.
Unfortunately, despite a superhuman effort, Denys was some two metres short.
Denys said, "I was disappointed not to beat the record, but I'm keen to give it another go in the future. I'm really grateful that First Scotland East was able to provide one of its double deckers."
Bet First were a bit narked at the failure. A sort of non PR non scoop?