Transport for Wales Rail
|Franchise(s)||Wales & Borders|
|Parent company||Transport for Wales (for Welsh Government)|
|Reporting mark||AW[nb 1]|
|Dates of operation||7 February 2021–|
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, including all 223 in Wales, and operates all passenger mainline services wholly within Wales, and services from Wales, Chester, and Shrewsbury to Liverpool, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Crewe, Birmingham, Bidston and Cheltenham.
In May 2018, the Wales & Borders franchise was awarded by Transport for Wales to KeolisAmey Wales. Scheduled to run for 15 years, it commenced in October 2018.
Following a collapse in revenues, and a significant reduction in passenger numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the original franchise had become financially unviable. On 7 February 2021, Transport for Wales Rail Limited, the Welsh Government's operator of last resort, succeeded KeolisAmey Wales as operator of the Wales & Borders franchise. KeolisAmey and Transport for Wales will continue a partnership on further improvements on the network, with Amey Infrastructure Wales (AIW) continuing to have an involvement in the delivering of some key projects such as the Core Valley Lines.
As of December 2022[update], Transport for Wales Rail operates these regular and daily services Monday to Friday:
This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2020)
Transport for Wales Rail inherited from KeolisAmey Wales a fleet 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.
Class 143 Pacers, which were not compliant with persons with reduced mobility legislation (PRM), were withdrawn on 29 May 2021 when their PRM dispensation ended.
Class 197 and 231 diesel multiple units, Class 756 tri-mode multiple units and Class 398 tram-trains will replace the Class 150, 153, 158, 175 and 769 units by 2023.
All of Transport for Wales Rail's KeolisAmey Wales-inherited and extra temporary fleet is due to be replaced by 2023 (with the exception of the Class 67 locomotives).
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. 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. The Mark 4 coaches have retained the Virgin Trains East Coast livery, but with Transport for Wales labels attached. The Mark 4 Driving Van Trailers will be repainted into the new Transport for Wales livery. Four of the six Class 67 locomotives have been repainted into TfW Rail livery. 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. 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.
TfW Rail will retain eight Class 153 units to operate services on the Heart of Wales line.
All 12 Class 170 units are to be transferred to East Midlands Railway. All of TfW Rail's two-car units have already moved to East Midlands Railway with the three-car units to follow in Spring 2023.
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 have been ordered from CAF for long-distance routes. These trains will have end gangways, but fewer toilets than the Class 158 and Class 175 DMUs they replace. They will however be quicker, with more powerful engines and more efficient transmissions for better acceleration, as well as a higher top speed than the Class 158. Fifty one Class 197 units would be two-cars and 26 would be three-cars.
CAF will undertake 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. The painted bodyshells will then be shipped to Newport, South Wales, for further assembly/component-fitment at CAF's new UK factory in Llanwern.
Class 230 D-Train
Five Class 230 D-Train diesel- and battery-electric multiple units were expected to enter service from May 2022. These are being built in England from former London Underground D78 Stock aluminium bodyshells by start-up rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail between 2019 and 2020. Entry into service was planned for the second quarter of 2023. At the beginning of April 2023, the Class 230s entered service on the Borderlands line.
Class 756/231 FLIRT and Class 398 Citylink
Also, 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. These will be manufactured at the Stadler factory in Szolnok, Hungary and assembled at their plant in Bussnang, Switzerland.
Future fleet summary
|Family||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Carriages||Number||Routes operated||Built||In service|
|Tri-mode multiple units|
|Stadler FLIRT||756||TMU||100||161||3||7||Services between Caerphilly/Coryton to Penarth||From 2020||2023|
|4||17||Services between Rhymney to Barry Island/Bridgend via Vale of Glamorgan|
|Stadler Citylink||398||Tram-train||TBC||3||36||Services from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil||From 2020||2024|
Between September 2021 and November 2022, all of the two-car Class 170s transferred to East Midlands Railway.
|Family||Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Carriages||Number||Routes Operated||Withdrawn||Built||Notes|
|Diesel Multiple Units|
|Bombardier Turbostar||170/2||DMU||100||161||2||4||2021-2022||2002||Transferred to East Midlands Railway|
- ^ Reporting mark inherited from Arriva Trains Wales, the operator of the franchise between 2003 and 2018.
- ^ Class 319/4 units were initially built between 1987 and 1988
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- ^ "TfW Rail Services Begin Operation". Modern Railways. No. 842. November 2018. p. 12.
- ^ Written Statement: Future of Rail update Welsh Government 22 October 2020
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- ^ "Welsh Government takes control of Wales & Borders". Rail Magazine. No. 917. 4 November 2020. p. 14.
- ^ "Timetables". Cardiff: Transport for Wales. Retrieved 17 December 2022.
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Fleet". tfw.wales. Archived from the original on 10 December 2022. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
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- ^ a b TfW acquires former Grand Central Mk4s Rail Express issue 301 June 2021 page 34
- ^ a b "What's Happening in North Wales". Transport for Wales. Archived from the original on 7 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
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- ^ a b "One Year In". tfwrail.wales. Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "New train on Conwy Valley Line welcomes its first passengers". North Wales Pioneer. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
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- ^ "Only 8 769s for TFW". Today's Railways UK. No. 246. August 2022. p. 67.
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- ^ "153s acquired". Modern Railways. No. 874. 4 July 2021. p. 13.
- ^ "EMR takes stock". Modern Railways. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
- ^ 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.
- ^ "TfW report completion of first class 197 bodyshell". Twitter. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "Coronavirus delay to Wrexham '230s'". Rail. No. 941. 6 October 2021. p. 15.
- ^ "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.
- ^ "Spring target for TFW '230' debut". Modern Railways. No. 895. Stamford: Key Publishing. March 2023. p. 86.
- ^ "Wales' first hybrid train enters service on Borderlands Line". Transport For Wales News. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
- ^ "Wales' first battery-electric train enters service on Borderlands Line". RailAdvent. Retrieved 3 April 2023.
- ^ "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.
- ^ a b Trains for Wales under construction Archived 2020-12-04 at the Wayback Machine - Rail Business UK. Retrieved 14 December 2020
- ^ a b "AMs WB Overview Presentation vJP AM" (PDF). KeolisAmey Wales. KeolisAmey Wales. Retrieved 5 June 2018.[dead link]
- ^ a b "CVL Rolling Stock List" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Transport for Wales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2019.