New £5n Franchise To Bring New Trains

The dawn of a new era for rail passengers in Wales and the Borders begins today

The Welsh Government revealed earlier this year KeolisAmey had won the Wales and Borders railway contract, taking over from Arriva.

Transport for Wales are set to take over the running of the Wales and Borders Rail Service on Monday 15 October.

James Price, Chief Executive of Transport for Wales, says that passengers can expect their rail service to be transformed within just five years.

By 2023, 95% of passengers’ journeys will take place on new, higher capacity trains and there will also be 285 extra services every weekday.

“From Sunday, the Transport for Wales brand will start to appear on uniforms, around stations and on trains and posters,” he said.

“Passengers will be welcomed by the same staff, and travel on the same trains on the same routes and timetables – and, importantly, their existing tickets will all still be valid as before.

“Behind the scenes, lots more positive changes will be starting to happen, and we’ll be keeping passengers informed all the way along.”

A “railmap” of improvements has now been published for customers. “Coming Down the Track” details a raft of transformational improvements by 2025 that include new and improved stations, better services, more carriages, new and completely rebuilt trains, better-value fares, pay-as-you-go travelcards, free wifi, improved accessibility for those with mobility problems at all stations, and new websites and apps to help passengers stay informed and buy tickets easily.

Mr Price explained that the Transport for Wales team has planned all improvements with the difference a reliable rail service makes to people’s lives as the primary motivation.

“We know what reliable rail travel actually means to people, and it’s so much more than getting from A to B. It’s making a job interview in plenty of time, getting home in time to bath the children, or arriving at work well before your shift starts. This contract was awarded on the basis of exactly that - what it will deliver for passengers in Wales and the Borders.

“So this timeline has been developed with the aim of giving people confidence that the train will get them where they need or want to be on time and in comfort, using a value-for-money, reliable, frequent service. And not just to get to work or school, but also for days out and trips away – so, for example, we’ll see new fare initiatives for 6 – 18 year olds by 2020, and there will be earlier first trains with 22% more Sunday services across Wales by 2020.

“The improvements we need to get to that point – more, better trains and stations, new and more frequent services, additional capacity – will take some time to deliver. Some areas will see significant improvements more quickly – both north and south Wales will see additional services within a year, for example, there will be new services between Chester and Liverpool in the first half of 2019, and we are also extending two of these services to serve Wrexham.  Added to this, the frequency of the service from Wrexham to Bidston will be doubled by 2022.

“The way in which we have planned the improvements programme means that the service will be unrecognisably better for people by 2025. Importantly, we will be operating a model that incentivises the operator of Transport for Wales Rail Services to grow the service but does not allow excessively high profits to be made. A cap will ensure that any additional profit will come back into Transport for Wales to be reinvested in transport.

“We really are putting our money where our mouth is. Rather than the industry standard of 30-minute delay repay, there will be a new commitment to refunds for delays of 15 minutes or more from January 2019.

“That journey starts on Sunday – and we hope the people of Wales and the Borders will join us on it.”


What do the changes mean for passengers in Wales and the Borders?

• All existing tickets remain valid, including Multiplex, which will be valid for the next three months.
• A new customer website tfwrail.wales / trctrenau.cymru and app will be launched on 15th October for all information and queries.
• All Arriva Trains Wales staff will become TfW Rail Services staff, with new uniforms. (This is temporary, with plans to develop a new uniform in consultation with staff).
• TfW branding will be at stations and start to appear on some trains as well as on information leaflets and posters.
• Deep-cleaning of all stations begins

What does this mean for passengers in south east Wales?

• Electrification of 172 km of track to deliver the Central Metro and enable four trains per hour from the top of each Valley Line
• Station improvements at Abergavenny, Cardiff Central, Merthyr Tydfil and Chepstow
• Introduction of a new Ebbw Vale to Newport service with one train per hour from May 2021
• Extra services from Cardiff to Cheltenham by 2023
• New station at Crwys Road, Cardiff by 2023
• Extra services from Wrexham to Cardiff and Liverpool by 2023
• New station at Loudoun Square, Cardiff opens by 2024
• New Metro station opens at Cardiff Bay by 2024, bringing on-street tram operation back to the capital after more than 70 years

What does this mean for passengers in mid and south west Wales?

• New station at Bow Street, near Aberystwyth by 2020
• Station investments at Carmarthen in 2021, Machynlleth in 2024 and Llanelli in 2025
• Doubling of the frequency of services on the Cambrian Line from December 2022
• Additional services on the Heart of Wales line, and between Carmarthen and Fishguard Harbour
• Extra services from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth by 2023
• Introduction of a new first-class service from Swansea to Manchester from 2024

What does this mean for passengers in north Wales?

• Introduction of a direct service between Manchester Airport and Bangor from December 2022
• Planned introduction of new services from May 2019 between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street. Two of these services will be extended to serve Wrexham. We’re working with the industry to ensure that rolling stock is available and that the timetable can accommodate these extra services.
• Frequency of Wrexham to Bidston service doubled by 2022
• Increase in frequency to three trains per hour on weekday services between Chester and Llandudno Junction from December 2022
• Extra services from Wrexham to Cardiff and Liverpool by 2023
• New direct services between Manchester Airport and Bangor by 2023
• Investment at Blaenau Ffestiniog station by 2023 and at Shotton and Wrexham General stations by 2024
• Extra services on summer Sundays for the north Cambrian coast by 2024

What does this mean for passengers in The Borders?

• New services between Chester and Liverpool from 2019
• Delivery of the North East Wales Metro with increased frequency to two trains per hour on the Wrexham to Bidston line from December 2021
• Introduction of a new Liverpool to Llandudno service (one train per hour), a Liverpool to Shrewsbury service (one train per hour) and a Liverpool to Cardiff service (one train every two hours) by December 2022
• New direct services between Manchester Airport and Bangor by 2023
• Extra services from Wrexham to Cardiff and Liverpool by 2023
• Doubling of the frequency of the weekday Shrewsbury to Chester service from December 2022
• Extra services from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth by 2023
• Additional summer Sunday services between Tywyn and Pwllheli from May 2023 to include, from 2025, a new express service every hour between major centres
• Introduction of a new first-class service from Swansea to Manchester from 2024


Passengers will be able to get more information and buy tickets from Transport for Wales Rail Services’ new customer website : http://tfwrail.wales / trctrenau.cymru from Sunday 14 October.

More from Local News


Add a comment

Log in to the club or enter your details below.