Rhondda and Abernant tunnels reopening campaign gets £250,000 boost

Feasibility studies have shown the tunnels are in good condition Credit: Rhondda Tunnel Society

The campaign to reopen two disused railway tunnels and transform them into walking and cycling routes has been given a major grant by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government £250,000 has been awarded to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to help it develop its plans to reopen the Rhondda and Abernant tunnels.

The train line ceased in the late 60s

“This funding will allow us to carry out further reviews on the viability of both schemes and, providing the reports find that there are no major issues, will inform bids for more significant funding from a range of potential funders to be taken forward in the next financial year.

“The reopening of the two Tunnels holds huge potential for improving not only the Active Travel offer in Rhondda Cynon Taf, but also key leisure tourism opportunities that could act as a major boost for the wider economy in the Rhondda and Cynon valleys – by offering one of the most attractive and unique destinations of this kind in Europe and possibly beyond.

– Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council leader

The Rhondda Tunnel runs from Blaencwm in the Rhondda to Abergwynfi in the Afan Valley.

The railway line closed in the late 60s, and the tunnel portals were closed and hidden in subsequent years.

Engineers cut through the concrete seal over the Rhondda Tunnel vent in July

Campaigners have long had an ambition for the tunnel - which runs for more than three kilometres - to be a destination to draw tourists from all over Europe.

The Rhondda Tunnel was driven from 1885 to 1890, and is still in a good condition