Premier Service
57315 at Newport in June 2009
Overview
Service typePassenger train
First service15 December 2008
Current operator(s)Transport for Wales
Former operator(s)Arriva Trains Wales
Route
StartHolyhead
EndCardiff Central
Average journey time4 hours, 30 minutes
Service frequencyMonday - Friday
Train number(s)1V91
1W96
Line(s) usedNorth Wales Coast
Chester-Shrewsbury
Welsh Marches
South Wales
Technical
Rolling stockClass 67
Mark 4
Mark 4 DVT

The Premier Service is a passenger train service operated by Transport for Wales between Holyhead and Cardiff in Wales.

History

On 15 December 2008, the Premier Service commenced operating between Holyhead and Cardiff Central.[1] Originally named Y Gerallt Gymro (Gerald of Wales) it was funded by the Welsh Government as a premium service to connect North and South Wales. Grand Central and Wrexham & Shropshire expressed an interest in operating the service, however the contract was awarded to Wales & Borders franchise holder Arriva Trains Wales.[2][3]

Four Class 57s (57313-57316) were sublet from Virgin Trains West Coast to operate in top and tail formation with three Mark 2 and one Mark 3 carriages.[4] By February 2009, the service was being operated by a single Class 57.[5]

In March 2012, the Class 57s were replaced by DB Schenker Class 67s.[6] The Mark 2 carriages were replaced with Mark 3s at the same time.[7] It originally ran via Crewe but from September 2012 was rerouted via Wrexham General after a Driving Van Trailer was added, allowing the train to change direction at Chester.[8]

In October 2018, operation of the Premier Service passed with the Wales & Borders franchise to Transport for Wales.[9] In March 2020, the service was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic with the Mark 3s withdrawn.[10][11] It resumed in June 2021 being operated by Class 67 hauled Mark 4s.[12][13][14]

Services

The Premier Service departs Holyhead at 05:34, returning from Cardiff Central at 17:16. It features first-class accommodation and a full dining car with travelling chef. Normal standard-class fares are valid on the train. First class attracts a supplement and includes a complimentary breakfast on the morning service and a three-course meal on the evening service. This is the only Transport for Wales service to offer first-class accommodation.[15]

References

  1. ^ "North-south service to go ahead". BBC News. 8 October 2008. Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  2. ^ "ATW to launch Holyhead-Cardiff service" Rail issue 603 22 October 2008 page 21
  3. ^ "Go-ahead for new North-South Wales service" Today's Railways UK issue 84 December 2008 page 7
  4. ^ "New Service Links North and South Wales" The Railway Magazine issue 1294 February 2009 page 9
  5. ^ "57s solo on WAG express" Today's Railways UK issue 88 April 2009 page 58
  6. ^ 67s start work on WAG Express Rail issue 693 4 April 2012 page 25
  7. ^ "Ex-Cargo-D Mk 3s refurbished and ready for duty with Arriva Trains Wales" Rail issue 708 31 October 2012 page 26
  8. ^ Mk3 DVTs converted for Arriva Trains Wales Rail issue 687 11 January 2012 page 18
  9. ^ Service Improvements Government of Wales
  10. ^ Arriva Mk3s sent for store The Railway Magazine issue 1431 June 2020 page 77
  11. ^ Time called on WAG Railways Illustrated July 2020 page 16
  12. ^ TfW livery applied to first of hired Class 67s Rail issue 892 20 November 2019 page 29
  13. ^ First trials for Welsh Mk 4s Railways Illustrated January 2020 page 8
  14. ^ Transport for Wales introduces premium trains Transport for Wales 7 June 2021
  15. ^ First Class Transport for Wales

Media related to Premier Service at Wikimedia Commons