19 Jul 2023
We know that lots of things have changed in recent years but our ambition to build a railway that meets the needs of current and future generations remains constant.
Our railway is critical to making sustainable transport the easiest way for people to travel across Wales and its borders.
At Transport for Wales we are working hard to continue to introduce our brand new trains as quickly as possible. We continue to deal with challenges around the introduction of these new trains to the Wales and Borders network and the necessary rail infrastructure changes needed to operate them to improve our timetables.
We are working hard with our partners in Network Rail to deliver the infrastructure improvements needed to introduce our brand-new fleet of trains and enhance our timetables. In order to deliver some of the uplifts, we need upgrades to take place with some pieces of infrastructure. This includes changes to depots where we store our trains, stopping points at platforms, level crossings, maintenance schedules, signal box opening times and more.
We are also working closely with train manufacturers CAF on improving the delivery timescales for our new class 197 trains, which will be used across Wales and Borders to deliver services. Due to a number of factors, largely linked to the pandemic, the number of trains we had expected to have delivered and ready for service haven’t arrived with us in time, meaning we don’t have the number we need to deliver some of our timetable uplifts.
These challenges mean that some of our committed timetable additions will no longer be taking place in December 2023 as planned.
We are pleased to confirm that the hourly Chester to Liverpool service, which was withdrawn during Covid-19, will be restored from December. This is one of the last few services that had been removed during Covid which has now been restored. Despite this positive news, there are other additional services, which we won’t be able to introduce as planned.
As part of this change for December and recognising new travel patterns in the post-pandemic world, we will also be reviewing longer term commitments to ensure they best meet the demands of customers and are fit for the needs of future generations.
The output of the review will be shared with the Welsh Government in the autumn.
This is to ensure the long term sustainability of the network, and to ensure that our investment has maximum impact on our targets to enable more people to travel sustainably across Wales and its borders.
In the meantime we remain committed to introducing new trains across our network over the coming months and improving our punctuality, reliability and performance.
The additional services we will not be introducing in the December 2023 timetable change include:
- Cardiff to Cheltenham Spa enhancement to 1tph
- 1tph Manchester Airport - Llandudno service diverts to Bangor & 1tph Liverpool Lime St - Chester extended to Llandudno