Transport for Wales Rail
  • Transport for Wales / TfW Rail
  • Trafnidiaeth Cymru / TrC Trenau
A Class 197 and Class 231 at Cardiff Central in July 2023
Franchise(s)Wales & Borders
Main region(s)Wales
Other region(s)
Stations operated248
Parent companyTransport for Wales (for Welsh Government)
Reporting markAW[nb 1]
Dates of operation7 February 2021 (2021-02-07)
PredecessorKeolisAmey Wales
Other Edit this at Wikidata
Route map
Route map

Transport for Wales Rail Limited, branded as Transport for Wales and TfW Rail (Welsh: Trafnidiaeth Cymru and TrC Trenau), is a Welsh publicly owned train operating company, a subsidiary of Transport for Wales (TfW), a Welsh Government-owned company. It commenced operations of the day to day services of the Wales & Borders franchise on 7 February 2021, as an operator of last resort, succeeding KeolisAmey Wales.

Transport for Wales Rail manages 248 National Rail stations,[2][3] including all 223 in Wales,[4] and operates all passenger mainline services wholly within Wales, services along the England–Wales border, and some into England.


During May 2018, the Wales & Borders franchise was awarded by Transport for Wales to KeolisAmey Wales.[5] Operations commenced in October 2018; at this point, the franchise was scheduled to run for 15 years.[6][7]

Within two years, the franchisee had experienced a collapse in revenues and a significant reduction in passenger numbers, which was largely attributable to the economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic; this trend led to the financial circumstances of the KeolisAmey Wales franchise becoming untenable. In response, during October 2020, the Welsh Government announced that it would be transferring operations of the Wales & Borders franchise from KeolisAmey Wales to an operator of last resort.[8][9][10] It was also stated that, despite the early termination of the franchise, KeolisAmey and Transport for Wales would continue a partnership to enact further improvements on the network; specifically, Amey Infrastructure Wales (AIW) would remain involved in the delivery of various key projects, such as upgrading the Core Valley Lines.[11]

On 7 February 2021, the Welsh Government-owned operator Transport for Wales Rail Limited took over running the franchise's services.[12][13]

Perhaps one of the most prominent undertaking for TfW Rail is the implementation and future operation of the South Wales Metro; this will involve various infrastructure changes, including a brand new depot at Taff's Well, as well as a new fleet of trains built by Stadler Rail.[14][15] One of the more unusual elements of this programme is the fleet of Class 398 battery-electric tram-trains, which will operate on both on-street tracks and conventional railways.[16]

Since taking on operations, Transport for Wales has introduced numerous changes to ticketing. On 24 January 2021, it launched a pilot scheme involving 90 convenience stores across South Wales to provide a new means of purchasing rail tickets; this scheme operated via a partnership with Payzone and used SilverRail retailing technology. TfW is the first UK-based train operating company to partner with Payzone.[17] During August 2023, this arrangement was extended to North Wales and the Wirral via a partnership between Transport for Wales and numerous local businesses under which train tickets became available for purchase from local retail outlets offering a Payzone facility.[18] That same year, a new ticketing arrangement with Unicard came into effect, enabling Transport for Wales to become the first British train operator outside of London to deploy contactless EMV services.[19]

Funding for Transport for Wales Rail's operations is sourced from both the Welsh and British governments.[20] Cost increases, such as the South Wales Metro's original budget of £738 million having risen to in excess of £1 billion, have been politically controversial.[21] During October 2023, the Welsh government announced that it would provide an additional £125 million for Transport for Wales in response to a revenue shortfall from fares; this funding top-up was a substantial rise at a time of considerably budgetary pressure.[22][23]


As of June 2024, Transport for Wales Rail operates these regular and daily services Monday to Friday:[24]

North Wales to South Wales
Route tpd Calling at
Holyhead to Cardiff Central 8
Marches, West Wales, Crewe–Shrewsbury Lines and Swanline
Route tph Calling at
Manchester Piccadilly to Cardiff Central 1
Swansea to Fishguard Harbour 4tpd
Cardiff Central to Milford Haven 1tp2h
  • 5 trains per day Cardiff-bound extend to Manchester Piccadilly, calling at Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool and New Inn (2tpd), Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, Nantwich, Crewe, Wilmslow, and Stockport.
Swansea to Pembroke Dock 1tp2h
Cardiff Central to Swansea 1
Crewe to Shrewsbury 1tp2h
Cambrian Line
Route tph Calling at
Birmingham International to Aberystwyth 1tp2h
Machynlleth to Pwllheli 1tp2h
Heart of Wales line
Route tpd Calling at
Shrewsbury to Swansea 4
North Wales Coast Line
Route tph Calling at
Birmingham International to Holyhead 1tp2h
Conwy Valley line
Route tpd Calling at
Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog 6
Borderlands line
Route tph Calling at
Bidston to Wrexham Central 43
Llandudno–Manchester, Chester–Crewe, and Liverpool–Wrexham
Route tph Calling at
Llandudno to Manchester Airport 1
Chester to Crewe 1 Shuttle service
Liverpool Lime Street to Chester 1
Route tph Calling at
Maesteg to Cheltenham Spa 1
Ebbw Valley Railway
Route tph Calling at
Ebbw Vale Town to Cardiff Central 1
Ebbw Vale Town to Newport 1
Rhondda, Merthyr, City and Butetown branch lines
Route tph Calling at
Cardiff Central to Treherbert 2
Merthyr Tydfil to Aberdare via Cardiff Central 2
Cardiff Bay to Pontypridd 2
  • Cardiff Queen Street, Cathays, Llandaf, Radyr, Taffs Well, Trefforest Estate, Trefforest
Cardiff Bay to Cardiff Queen Street 2 Shuttle service
Rhymney, Vale of Glamorgan and Coryton lines
Bridgend to Rhymney 1
Barry Island to Rhymney 1 Barry, Barry Docks, Cadoxton, Dinas Powys, Eastbrook, Cogan, Grangetown, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Heath High Level, Llanishen, Lisvane and Thornhill, Caerphilly, Aber, Llanbradach, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Pengam, Bargoed
Barry Island to Bargoed 2
Penarth to Caerphilly 2
Penarth to Coryton 2
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn Request stop
  2. ^ a b c d e f Request stop for services towards Swansea
  3. ^ Request stop for services towards Shrewsbury
  4. ^ a b c d e f Limited service
  5. ^ Request stop for services towards Llandudno

Rolling stock


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Transport for Wales Rail inherited KeolisAmey Wales's fleet, which consisted of Class 143, 150, 153, 158, 170 and 175 diesel multiple units, Class 230 diesel-battery electric multiple units, Class 769 bi-mode multiple units and Mark 4 and DVT sets with an allocation of Class 67 locomotives.[25][26]

During its first years of operation, TfW Rail enacted multiple fleet changes. This was largely driven by pre-existing procurement arrangements that had been arranged by KeolisAmey Wales; at one point, it was intended for the majority of TfW Rail's inherited rolling stock, along with additional temporary vehicles, to be replaced by 2023 (with the exception of the Class 67 locomotives).[27] Under these plans, the Class 197 and 231 diesel multiple units, Class 756 tri-mode multiple units and Class 398 tram-trains were set to replace the Class 150, Class 153, and Class 158 fleets.

Current fleet

Family Class[25] Image Type[25] Top speed Number[25] Carriages[25] Routes operated[25] Built[26]
mph[25] km/h
Locomotive-hauled stock
Premier Service 67 Loco 125 200 6 - 1999–2000
Mark 4 Coach 140 225 37[28] 4 or 5 1989–1992
Driving Van Trailer Control car 8[28] 1
Diesel multiple unit
Sprinter 150 DMU 75 120 34[30] 2 1987
153 Super Sprinter 26 1 1987–1988
158 Express Sprinter 90 145 24 2 1989–1992
CAF Civity 197[31] 100 161 51 2 From 2020
26 3

Diesel-electric multiple unit
Stadler FLIRT 231 DEMU 90 145 11 4 2020–2022
Diesel-battery electric multiple unit
Vivarail D-Train 230[34] DBEMU[35][36][37][38] 60 97 5 3 2019–2020

Newly introduced / future fleet

Cascades and refurbishments

Class 67-hauled Mark 4 set

Six Class 67 locomotives have been adapted to work with three sets each comprising four Mark 4 carriages and a Mark 4 Driving Van Trailer, which will replace the Mark 3 stock previously used on locomotive-hauled services.[citation needed] The twelve carriages and three DVTs were able to cascade from London North Eastern Railway, as a result of the introduction of Class 800s and Class 801s on the East Coast Main Line.[citation needed] The Mark 4 coaches have retained the Virgin Trains East Coast livery, but with Transport for Wales labels attached.[citation needed] The Mark 4 Driving Van Trailers will be repainted into the new Transport for Wales livery.[citation needed] Four of the six Class 67 locomotives have been repainted into TfW Rail livery.[citation needed] TfW Rail introduced the Mark 4 sets in June 2021 on Cardiff to Holyhead services, and from December 2022 they will operate services between Swansea and Manchester using trains which had previously been planned to be used on the Blackpool route by Grand Central.[39] The three Mark 4 sets will be retained and will remain on the routes they will work from their date of introduction on TfW Rail services.[citation needed]

Class 153

TfW Rail will retain eight Class 153 units to operate services on the Heart of Wales line.[40]

New trains

For the longer term fleet replacement, 148 brand new trains will be introduced including 77 CAF Civity trains (Class 197), 35 FLIRT trains (Class 231 & Class 756) and 36 Citylink tram-trains (Class 398) have been ordered. The addition of these trains to the fleet, from 2021 to 2024 but mostly in 2022–23, will allow the 109 (total) Class 150, 153 (13 by then), 158, 175 and 769 units to be withdrawn.

Class 197 Civity

A total of 77 Class 197 Civity diesel multiple units were ordered from CAF for long-distance routes. These trains have end gangways, but fewer toilets than the Class 158 and Class 175 DMUs they replace.[41] They are however faster, with more powerful engines and more efficient transmissions for better acceleration, as well as a higher top speed than the Class 158. 51 units are two-cars in length and 26 are three-cars in length.[26]

CAF undertook the fabrication, welding and painting of the Class 197 fleet in their factory in Beasain, Spain. The first Driving Motor carriage vehicle bodyshell had largely passed this stage by 12 February 2020, when it was pictured in the Beasain factory.[42] The painted bodyshells were shipped to Newport, South Wales, for further assembly and component fit-out at CAF's new UK factory in Llanwern.[43]

Class 230 D-Train
TfW Rail Class 230 at Wrexham Central

Five Class 230 D-Train diesel-battery electric multiple units[26] were built in England from former London Underground D78 Stock aluminium bodyshells by start-up rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail between 2019 and 2020.[26][44] Originally expected to enter service from May 2022,[45] they began operations on the Borderlands line at the beginning of April 2023.[46][47][48]

Class 756/231 FLIRT and Class 398 Citylink

A total of 35 Stadler FLIRT units have been ordered (consisting of 24 Class 756 tri-modes - 7 three-car & 17 four-car units - and 11 Class 231 diesel-electrics), along with 36 Class 398 Stadler Citylink tram-trains.[49] These units will be manufactured at Stadler's factory in Szolnok, Hungary, and assembled at their plant in Bussnang, Switzerland. The Class 398 tram-trains are particularly unusual, being able to operate on both heavy rail and at street-level; accordingly, each three car unit features level boarding and has a maximum passenger capacity of 256. In March 2023, the first of these tram-trains was delivered; testing commenced nine months later.[50][51]

Future fleet summary

Family Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages Routes operated Built In service
mph km/h
Tri-mode multiple units[52]
Stadler FLIRT 756 TMU 75 120 7 3 Services between Caerphilly/Coryton and Penarth[53][54] From 2020[26] Planned for 2024(currently on test)[55]
17 4 Services between Rhymney and Barry Island/Bridgend via Vale of Glamorgan[53][54]

Stadler Citylink 398 Tram-train 62 100 36 3 Services between Cardiff and Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil From 2020[52] Planned for late 2024[56]

Past fleet

On 29 May 2021, TfW Rail permanently withdrew its fleet of Class 143 Pacers, which were not compliant with persons with reduced mobility legislation (PRM) and their PRM dispensation expired; their duties were taken over by PRM-compliant vehicles.[57][58]

Between September 2021 and November 2022, all of TfW Rail's two-car Class 170 sets were transferred to East Midlands Railway.[59][60] Operation of the three-car Class 170 continued through to spring 2023, at which point the last of TfW Rail's three-car units was transferred to the East Midlands. The final 170 transferred on 29 January 2024.[59][61]

In May 2022, Transport for Wales announced the abrupt withdrawal of two Class 150 trains from service after they were involved with a collision at Craven Arms.[62] In May 2023, Transport for Wales withdrew the last of its Class 769 fleet from service.[63] In February 2023, the first of the Class 175 sets was withdrawn from service partially as a result of multiple fires.[64] The entire Class 175 fleet was withdrawn on 17 October 2023.[65]

Family Class Image Type Top Speed Number Carriages Routes Operated Withdrawn Built Notes
mph km/h
Diesel multiple units
Sprinter 150 DMU 75 120 2 2 2022 1987 Stored after being severely damaged
Bombardier Turbostar 170 100 161 4 2 2021-2024 1999-2002 Transferred to East Midlands Railway
8 3
Alstom Coradia 175 Coradia 1000
100 161 11 2 Regional services between North, South and West Wales and England 2023 1999–2001 Stored, unit 175008 converted to 1 car, by donating a driving vehicle to unit 175101[67]
16 3

BR Second Generation (Mark 3) 769 Flex BMU 100 161 8 4 2023 2019–2020[nb 2] Stored



  1. ^ Reporting mark inherited from Arriva Trains Wales, the operator of the franchise between 2003 and 2018.
  2. ^ Class 319/4 units were initially built between 1987 and 1988


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Preceded byKeolisAmey Wales (t/a Transport for Wales Rail Services) Operator of Wales & Borders franchise 2021 – Incumbent