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
Overview
Franchise(s)Wales & Borders
Main region(s)Wales
Other region(s)
Stations operated248
Parent companyTransport for Wales (for Welsh Government)
HeadquartersPontypridd[1]
Reporting markAW[nb 1]
Dates of operation7 February 2021 (2021-02-07)
PredecessorKeolisAmey Wales
Other
Websitetfw.wales 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.

History

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]

Services

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
Maesteg–Cheltenham
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

Overview

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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]

Tram-trains
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

References

Notes

  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

Citations

  1. ^ "TRANSPORT FOR WALES RAIL LTD - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  2. ^ "App | Transport for Wales". Transport For Wales. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  3. ^ Passenger's Charter (PDF). Transport for Wales Rail. February 2021. p. 4.
  4. ^ "Rail station usage: April 2020 to March 2021". GOV.WALES. 3 March 2022. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Keolis/Amey wins £5bn Wales rail contract". BBC News. 23 May 2018. Archived from the original on 9 November 2020.
  6. ^ "Welsh Revival". Railways Illustrated. No. 186. August 2018. p. 6.
  7. ^ "TfW Rail Services Begin Operation". Modern Railways. No. 842. November 2018. p. 12.
  8. ^ "Written Statement: Future of Rail update". Welsh Government. 22 October 2020. Archived from the original on 30 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Transport for Wales rail services to be nationalised". BBC News. 22 October 2020. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020.
  10. ^ "Welsh Government takes control of Wales & Borders". Rail Magazine. No. 917. 4 November 2020. p. 14.
  11. ^ "Welsh Government takes control of franchise". The Railway Magazine. No. 1436. November 2020. p. 6.
  12. ^ "Welsh rail franchise now in public ownership". Transport For Wales News. Archived from the original on 8 February 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  13. ^ "Welsh rail franchise now in public ownership". GOV.WALES. 8 February 2021. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Evening rail disruption as Metro works begin". BBC News. 10 July 2020. Archived from the original on 11 July 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  15. ^ "Network Rail launches sale of Cardiff Valley Lines". railnews.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 September 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Our new trains". Transport for Wales. Retrieved 14 October 2023.
  17. ^ Holden, Alan (20 January 2022). "Convenience stores to sell Transport for Wales train tickets". railadvent.co.uk.
  18. ^ Smith, Roger (13 August 2023). "Train tickets in North Wales and the Wirral now on sale in local shops". railadvent.co.uk.
  19. ^ "Unicard deploys contactless rail travel with Transport for Wales". railuk.com. 27 September 2023.
  20. ^ Birt, Elizabeth (16 December 2023). "UK Government to fund rail services between west Wales and Bristol". southwalesguardian.co.uk.
  21. ^ "Wales faces radical rail review". railtech.com. 10 August 2023.
  22. ^ "Transport for Wales: More cash for rail firm after lost ticket sales". BBC News. 18 October 2023.
  23. ^ Mosalski, Ruth (22 November 2023). "Transport for Wales bosses grilled over trains, delays and its huge compensation bill". walesonline.co.uk.
  24. ^ "Timetables". Cardiff: Transport for Wales. Retrieved 2 June 2024.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g "Info for... Fleet". tfw.wales. 10 May 2021. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g "A guide to our fleet of trains - Fleet Accessibility Specifications" (PDF). nationalrail.co.uk. Transport for Wales. February 2022. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2023.
  27. ^ "£800m fleet renewal plan for new Welsh franchise". International Railway Journal. Simmons-Boardman. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  28. ^ a b "TfW acquires former Grand Central Mk4s". Rail Express. No. 301. June 2021. p. 34.
  29. ^ a b "What's Happening in North Wales". Transport for Wales. Archived from the original on 7 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  30. ^ "TfW cuts services after Craven Arms collision". Modern Railways. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  31. ^ "KeolisAmey reveal new-look Wales trains and services". BBC News. BBC. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  32. ^ "What this means for Mid and South West Wales". Transport for Wales. Archived from the original on 14 October 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  33. ^ "New train on Conwy Valley Line welcomes its first passengers". North Wales Pioneer. 16 November 2022. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  34. ^ "Service Improvements" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Welsh Government. Retrieved 4 June 2018.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ "First converted D-stock enters traffic as TfW '230'". www.railmagazine.com. Retrieved 5 May 2024. The introduction of the first hybrid battery-diesel multiple unit
  36. ^ "TfW '230s' finally enter service". www.modernrailways.com. Retrieved 5 May 2024. The hybrid trains are capable of operating on diesel or battery traction
  37. ^ Miles, Tony (5 April 2023). "Class 230s finally enter service with Transport for Wales". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 5 May 2024. Transport for Wales has run its first Class 230 battery-diesel hybrid trainset in passenger service on the Wrexham – Bidston Borderlands Line.
  38. ^ "Fleet Accessibility Specifications" (PDF). tfw.wales. October 2021. p. 36. Class 230s are three carriage bi-mode trains using diesel and battery.
  39. ^ "Transport for Wales introduces premium trains". Transport For Wales News. 7 June 2021.
  40. ^ "153s acquired". Modern Railways. No. 874. 4 July 2021. p. 13.
  41. ^ Clark, Rhodri (23 April 2020). "Concern about '197' interior spec". Modern Railways. Key Publishing Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  42. ^ "TfW report completion of first class 197 bodyshell". Twitter. @tfwrail. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  43. ^ "CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise". Rail Technology Magazine. Cognitive Publishing. 21 February 2019. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  44. ^ "New trains will be a boost for North Wales rail passengers". Press Release. Welsh Government. 28 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  45. ^ "Coronavirus delay to Wrexham '230s'". Rail. No. 941. 6 October 2021. p. 15.
  46. ^ "Spring target for TFW '230' debut". Modern Railways. No. 895. Stamford: Key Publishing. March 2023. p. 86.
  47. ^ "Wales' first hybrid train enters service on Borderlands Line". Transport For Wales News. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  48. ^ "Wales' first battery-electric train enters service on Borderlands Line". RailAdvent. 3 April 2023. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
  49. ^ "Stadler to deliver 71 new trains for Wales & Borders". Press Release. Stadler Rail AG. 28 February 2019. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  50. ^ "South Wales Metro tram-train delivered as route blockade announced". Rail Business UK. Sutton: DVV Media International. 22 March 2023. Retrieved 23 March 2023.
  51. ^ Wilcok, Rich. "Revolutionary TfW South Wales Metro tram-train enters testing phase". railtechnologymagazine.com. Retrieved 15 December 2023.
  52. ^ a b "Trains for Wales under construction". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  53. ^ a b "AMs WB Overview Presentation vJP AM" (PDF). KeolisAmey Wales. Retrieved 5 June 2018.[dead link]
  54. ^ a b "CVL Rolling Stock List" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  55. ^ "Tfw confirms Class 756 introduction for this year". Headline News. Rail Express. No. 334. March 2024. p. 11.
  56. ^ "Late 2024 service introduction fit class 398s expected". Today's Railways UK. No. 264. February 2024. p. 61.
  57. ^ "TfW says goodbye to last Pacer trains". Transport for Wales Rail Limited. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  58. ^ "The Railways (Interoperability) Regulations 2011 – Transport for Wales Rail Services Class 143s - 2020 accessibility deadline" (PDF). gov.uk. Department for Transport. 10 December 2020. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
  59. ^ a b "EMR stands down '180s' and '156s'". Rail Magazine. No. 984. 31 May 2023. p. 23.
  60. ^ "EMR takes stock". Modern Railways. 5 October 2021.
  61. ^ Bickerdyke, Paul, ed. (March 2024). "Cornish 'boxes close: An exclusive farewell look at Lostwithiel, Par and Truro". The Railway Magazine. Retrieved 6 March 2024.((cite news)): CS1 maint: date and year (link)
  62. ^ "TfW cuts services after Craven Arms collision". Modern Railways. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  63. ^ "Class 769 Flex". Units. Rail Express. No. 326. July 2023. p. 23.
  64. ^ "First 175s stored as three fires hits fleet". Today's Railways UK. No. 254. April 2023. p. 57.
  65. ^ "TFW ends its use of Alstom Class 175s". Rail Magazine. No. 995. 1 November 2023. p. 23.
  66. ^ "One Year In". tfwrail.wales. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  67. ^ "More '197s' enter service as reliance on 'Coradia' fleet reduces". Rail Express. No. 328. September 2023. p. 20.
Preceded byKeolisAmey Wales (t/a Transport for Wales Rail Services) Operator of Wales & Borders franchise 2021 – Incumbent