Wales and West

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Wales & West
Wales & west logo.svg
Franchise(s): Wales & West
13 October 1996 - 13 October 2001
Main region(s): Wales, South West
Other region(s): West Midlands, North West
National Rail abbreviation: WW
Parent company: Prism Rail

Wales & West[1] was a train operating company in the United Kingdom owned by Prism Rail that operated the South Wales & West franchise from October 1996 until October 2001.

In July 2000 Prism Rail was purchased by National Express.[2][3]


Originally privatized under the name South Wales and West Railway, the company operated the majority of its services in South Wales and the south west of England, providing a mixture of local and middle-distance services. Longer-distance services operated under the Alphaline brand provided regular links to North Wales and the north west of England, as well as to the South Coast and London Waterloo.[4]

Rolling stock[edit]

Wales & West inherited a fleet of Class 143, Class 150, Class 153 and Class 158s from British Rail. Wales & West also operated some 'different' trains on shorter services. Using four hired in Class 37/4's from EWS and old Mk 2 stock from West Coast Railway limited.[5]

Class Image Type Top speed Built
mph km/h
Class 143 Pacer Class 143 DMU 143-616 Platform 1 Bristol Temple Meads April 1993. (9922396484).jpg Diesel multiple unit 75 120 1985–1986
Class 150 Sprinter Class 150 DMU 150276, joining Clifton Down line, Narroways Junction, Bristol, January 1994 Scans906 (10708293005).jpg Diesel multiple unit 75 120 1984–1987
Class 153 Super Sprinter Class 153 BREL-Leyland Super-Sprinter DMU 153374, Severn Beach 31.3.1994 Scans932 (10708380626).jpg Diesel multiple unit 75 120 1987–1988
Class 158 Express Sprinter Class 158 DMU 158819 to Portsmouth, Bristol Temple Meads 27.2.1993. (9922352786).jpg Diesel multiple unit 90 145 1989–1992


Wales & West's fleet was maintained at Cardiff Canton and Exeter depots.


Wales & West carried out various enhancements to their Class 158 fleet including new carpets, revised seating layout and better air conditioning equipment.


In 2001 the Strategic Rail Authority decided to re-organise the South Wales & West and Valley Lines franchises, both being operated by National Express. Wales & West split into Wessex Trains and Wales & Borders. Wessex Trains has since become part of First Great Western (Greater Western franchise), and Wales & Borders Trains has become Arriva Trains Wales.


  1. ^ Companies House extract company 3011029 Wales & West Passenger Trains Limited
  2. ^ National Express buys Prism for £166m The Telegraph 19 July 2000
  3. ^ National Express buys Prism for £166m The Guardian 19 July 2000
  4. ^ Wales & West route map
  5. ^ TeleRail
Preceded by
Regional Railways
As part of British Rail
Operator of Wales & West franchise
1996 - 2001
Succeeded by
Wales & Borders
Wales & Borders franchise
Succeeded by
Wessex Trains
Wessex Trains franchise