Wales and Borders
Franchise(s)Wales & Borders
14 October 2001 – 6 December 2003
Main region(s)South Wales, Mid Wales
Other region(s)West Country
Parent companyNational Express
Reporting markWB
PredecessorsValley Lines, Wales & West
SuccessorArriva Trains Wales

Wales and Borders[1] was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by National Express that operated the Wales & Borders franchise from October 2001 until December 2003.


In October 1996, the Valley Lines franchise commenced operating services around Cardiff and the South Wales Valleys. In March 2000, the Strategic Rail Authority decided to re-organise the Valley Lines and Wales & West franchises, both being operated by National Express.

Valley Lines became Wales & Borders from October 2001, combining its services with most of Wales & West's Welsh services and the Cambrian Line services from Central Trains. In September 2003 Wales & Borders took over the North Wales Coast Line services from First North Western.


Wales and Borders operated passenger services in Wales and the West Country as seen in their route map.[2] It also operated services to Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Birmingham International, Penzance and London Waterloo.

On 14 October 2001, the services from Birmingham New Street to Chester, Aberystwyth, and Pwllheli operated by Central Trains were transferred.[3]

On 28 September 2003, the services from Birmingham New Street, Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno and Holyhead as well as those between Bidston and Wrexham Central and Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog operated by First North Western were also transferred.[4]

Rolling stock

Wales and Borders inherited a fleet of Class 142, Class 143 and Class 150s from Valley Lines and Class 158s from Wales & West and Central Trains. From First North Western it inherited Class 153 and Class 175s.

Wales and Borders also used Mark 2 carriages on Rhymney Line and Fishguard Harbour services hauled by English Welsh & Scottish EWS Class 37s and Mark 2 carriages hauled by English Welsh & Scottish Class 47s on North Wales Coast Line services.[5][6]


Wales and Borders' fleet was maintained at Cardiff Canton depot.


On 1 August 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority awarded the new franchise to Arriva with the services operated by Wales & Borders transferring to Arriva Trains Wales on 7 December 2003.[7][8]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 3007927 Archived 19 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Cardiff Railway Company Limited
  2. ^ "Wales and Borders Trains" (PDF). 14 June 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2003.
  3. ^ Wales & Borders Trains – more than just a new name for Wales & West in Wales Wales & Borders introduction
  4. ^ The Wales and Borders Franchise Archived 6 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine House of Commons Select Committee on Welsh Affairs Third Report 17 March 2004
  5. ^ "Martin Loader's Railway Photography – Class 37". Archived from the original on 9 August 2013. Retrieved 22 September 2012.
  6. ^ class 47's on First North Western Archived 24 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine Sulzer Power
  7. ^ SRA Announces Preferred Bidder for New Integrated Wales Franchise Strategic Rail Authority Press Release 1 August 2003
  8. ^ Arriva selected to operate the news Wales and borders franchise Archived 30 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine Arriva Press Release 1 August 2003
Preceded byFirst North WesternNorth Western Trains franchise(North Wales Coast services) Operator of Wales & Borders franchise 2001–2003 Succeeded byArriva Trains Wales Preceded byValley LinesValley Lines franchise Preceded byWales & WestWales & West franchise