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Network Rail says it cannot give a precise date for the electrification of the south Wales mainline.
Originally, new hybrid trains were due to be in operation in 2017 but delays were caused after the scheme went over budget.
Network Rail insists good progress is being made towards completion sometime in 2019.
Transport expert Prof Stuart Cole said a lack of clarity has resulted from poor planning and changing policy.
A report by the Office of Rail and Roads published earlier this month said the regulator had "raised concerns" with Network Rail over the Cardiff electrification.
Network Rail has said it is "absolutely committed" to delivering the project "as quickly as possible in 2019".
Image copyrightGOOGLEImage captionThe electrification of the line was due to extend to Swansea but will now stop at CardiffUnder original plans, the overhead wires were due to serve as far as Swansea.
As well as the £430m Cardiff-Swansea project, electrification schemes in the midlands and the Lake District were among those scrapped last July on grounds of cost.
But one expert believes the project will not be completed until late next year.
"The word going around in the transport industry was that the deadline is December 2019," said Prof Cole, who is professor of transport at the University of South Wales.
He said there were several factors behind the delay and lack of clarity from Network Rail, including allowing time for timetable changes.
Image copyrightGWRImage captionNew hybrid trains can deliver faster journeys, UK ministers have saidBut he said it was also also a "hangover" from fleeting central government electrification policy.
"First it wasn't coming to Wales, then it was Cardiff and then Swansea, before being rolled back to Cardiff again," he added.
"They have been at the behest of changing policy."
This article first appeared on www.bbc.com
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