Rail staff and community volunteers are out in force this week to spruce-up the surroundings of the developing station at Energlyn and Churchill Park in Caerphilly.
Staff working on the construction of the new station put in the extra hours to organise and take part in a community litter picking event, which saw a dozen of volunteers clear away masses of rubbish dumped in the area.
The land near to the station site compound was blighted by all sorts of litter, including cans, take away boxes and a refrigerator. The team successfully collected several bags of rubbish from a popular conservation area, a local playground and the residential areas around the railway.
Anthony Osammor, scheme project manager from Network Rail said: “Fly tipping and litter dropping on and near the railway is a blight on the land and surrounding communities. This clean-up will help make a difference to the area, making it more welcoming and greatly improve the environment for the community in advance of the new station opening later this year.”
Funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, Energlyn and Churchill Park station is being delivered by Network Rail and will be operated by Arriva Trains Wales. When it opens at the end of 2013, passengers using the new £5.2m station – being built between Aber and Llanbradach – will benefit from direct rail access to and from Cardiff and Rhymney-bound services.
The station will incorporate two six-carriage platforms and step-free access as well as car parking for 18 vehicles (disabled spaces included), CCTV, waiting shelters, ticket machines and a bicycle storage area. The station surroundings will also be landscaped to provide a modern and welcoming gateway for passengers.
Anthony Osammor continued: “As we are in the community developing a new station, the site staff wanted to dedicate their time to give something back and spruce up the station before it opens its doors to the public. After everyone’s hard work we hope the area remains clean and tidy, so that the community has a welcoming station area to be proud of.”
Litter and flytipping is a serious problem across the country that is not only unsightly, but also affects reliability and safety on the railway. Litter can attract rats which can chew on signal cables, leading to signal failures, delays and even accidents. The clean-up blitz involved staff from Network Rail and its principle contractors working on site – Colas Rail and Morgan Sindall – as well as several volunteers from the community.