Arriva party for travellers
HUNDREDS of commuters are planning to attend a party to celebrate the end of the Arriva Trains Wales franchise next month, according to an event listed on Facebook.
HUNDREDS of people are planning to attend a party to celebrate the end of the Arriva Trains Wales franchise next month, according to a Facebook event.
The event, labelled “Celebrate the end of Arriva”, invites commuters to gather at Cardiff Central Railway Station between 10pm and 1am on Saturday, October 13.
“The end of an era. The end of Arriva,” it says on the event page. “The clocks are ticking. The countdown is on. Assemble at Central Station for a national celebration. BYOB.”
More than 390 people have confirmed their attendance on Facebook, while 1,700 others have said they are interested.
A number of people have posted to the event page. One person wrote: “How’s everyone getting home?” And a reply on his post said: “Not with Arriva, I bet.”
Meanwhile Gareth Palfrey said: “Cry me Arriva.”
Earlier this year, the Welsh Government announced it had chosen KeolisAmey to replace German-owned Arriva Trains Wales.
A joint venture between French transport giant Keolis and Spanish infrastructure management consultancy Amey, they will run the next 15-year Wales & Borders rail franchise, starting from October 14.
KeolisAmey will also design and build the next phase of the Metro with electrification of the core Valley Lines, where £738m of funding has been set aside and the UK Government has reaffirmed its £125m contribution.
Keolis UK chief executive Alistair Gordon said in five years’ time the railways in Wales “will be unrecognisable” after suffering years of underinvestment.
The company says passengers will start to see improvements in service levels from December, with increased capacity on the Valleys Lines and new services between Chester and Liverpool.
All staff working for Arriva Trains Wales, totalling 2,356, of whom 610 are train drivers and 512 guards, will transfer over to KeolisAmey. It currently has a fleet of 127 trains, with in excess of 1,000 passenger services per day.
Key plans for the franchise include:
An additional 600 staff recruited to deliver the service, while 450 new apprenticeships (30 every year) will also be created over the life of the contract.
£1.9bn will be invested in improving passengers’ travel experience, including an £800m investment in trains, boosting overall service capacity by 65%.
All trains will be replaced by 2023 when 95% of journeys (though not on mileage) will be on new trains, half of which will be assembled in Wales at a new train-maker factory at Llanwern from Spanish firm CAF.
£194m will be invested to modernise all 247 stations, with five new stations including in Cardiff at Gabalfa, Crwys Road, Loudoun Square and the Flourish (next to the Wales Millennium Centre), serviced by tram-trains that will run on battery power across Cardiff.
And it is understood there are plans for a new Treforest station to be located nearer to Nantgarw, where the Department for Work and Pensions is creating a new HQ for 1,700 staff and the campus of Coleg Y Cymoedd is located.