The final plans to build a £5.2m new station to serve Energlyn and Churchill Park were unveiled yesterday at a public exhibition.
Residents are being encouraged to come and view the plans and meet the teams who will build the new station over a six-month period this year.
The Welsh European Funding Office has helped to fund the scheme, which has been developed jointly by the Welsh Government, Network Rail, Caerphilly County Borough Council, South East Wales Transport Authority (SEWTA) and Arriva Trains Wales (ATW).
The new station will be located between Aber and Llanbradach in Caerphilly county borough. It aims to serve a growing community around Energlyn and Churchill Park. On completion, it will be operated by ATW.
When it opens at the end of this year, passengers using Energlyn and Churchill Park will benefit from direct rail access to and from Cardiff for the first time. The new station will significantly help ease road congestion and cater to rising rail usage in the area.
Mark Langman, route director for Network Rail Wales, said: “This proposal is driven by our plans to transform the railway in Wales and, when delivered, will mark a huge improvement for Energlyn and Churchill Park. Support from the people of the area is vital to make this possible and we welcome the public in having their say today.
“Caerphilly county borough has seen a steady increase in passenger demand in recent years and the new station will cater for this growth and encourage sustainable travel, whilst also helping to improve the local economy.”
Minister for Transport, Edwina Hart, said: “Investing in our transport infrastructure is vital as we look to improve the economic competitiveness of Wales. This project is part of wider plans for improving services on the Valley lines network that will see the electrification of the network by 2019.”
Cllr Tom Williams, cabinet member for highways, transportation and engineering at Caerphilly County Borough Council said: “This new station is great news for people living in and around this area, and is a welcome boost for public transport in the county borough.
“There have been major investments in the transport infrastructure across the area over recent years, and developments like this make travel so much more accessible, while encouraging more people to leave their cars at home and go for a greener, more sustainable mode of transport.”
The new station will incorporate two platforms and step-free access. Network Rail has listened to local concerns about accessibility and has planned limited car parking for 18 vehicles. The primary park and ride facilities for the Caerphilly town area are provided adjacent to Caerphilly and Aber Stations, where over 400 spaces are available.
The proposed new station will be equipped with CCTV, waiting shelters, ticket machines and emergency help points and digital boards with real-time train information displays.
It will provide commuters with access to Cardiff and Rhymney-bound services. Initial services will offer one or two trains per hour. There will also be an improved interchange with bus services on Lewis Drive.
Mr Langman added: “Network Rail is currently working to improve capacity of the Valleys network by 2015, with the electrification of the main line from London to Cardiff and Swansea by 2018, followed by electrification of the Valley lines network.”