What trav­ellers in Wales can look for­ward to...

South Wales Echo - - News -

THERE are big changes on the rail­ways in Wales this week­end, but pas­sen­gers are not go­ing to no­tice many dif­fer­ences to be­gin with.

Ar­riva Trains Wales will hand over the keys to the na­tion’s crum­bling lo­cal com­muters trains to Trans­port for Wales and new op­er­a­tor Ke­o­lis Amey.

It will bring down the cur­tain on nearly 15 years in which pas­sen­ger num­bers have rock­eted, the na­tion’s rolling stock has got older and Ar­riva has reaped huge profits.

But there are only go­ing to be a few changes at the start for pas­sen­gers.

This is what to ex­pect on Day One: ■■All ex­ist­ing tick­ets re­main valid, in­clud­ing mul­ti­plex, which will be valid for the next three months.

■■A new cus­tomer web­site tfwrail.wales / trc­tre­nau.cymru and app will be launched on Mon­day for all in­for­ma­tion and queries.

■■All Ar­riva Trains Wales staff will be­come TfW Rail Ser­vices staff, with new uni­forms. (This is tem­po­rary, with plans to de­velop a new uni­form in con­sul­ta­tion with staff).

■■TfW brand­ing will be at sta­tions and start to ap­pear on some trains as well as on in­for­ma­tion leaflets and posters. ■■Deep-clean­ing of all sta­tions be­gins.

The com­pany has pub­lished what it calls a “railmap” of im­prove­ments that will take place be­tween now and 2025.

It says it will in­clude new and im­proved sta­tions, bet­ter ser­vices, more car­riages, new and com­pletely re­built trains, bet­ter-value fares, pay-as-you-go trav­el­cards, free wifi, im­proved ac­ces­si­bil­ity for those with mo­bil­ity prob­lems at all sta­tions, and new web­sites and apps to help pas­sen­gers stay in­formed and buy tick­ets eas­ily.

What does this mean for pas­sen­gers in south east Wales?

■■From Jan­uary 2019 in­stead of re­funds for de­lays of 30 min­utes or more, it will be for 15 min­utes or more. ■■Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of 172 km of track to de­liver the Cen­tral Metro and en­able four trains per hour from the top of each Val­ley Line.

■■Sta­tion im­prove­ments at Aber­gavenny, Cardiff Cen­tral, Merthyr Tyd­fil and Chep­stow. ■■In­tro­duc­tion of a new Ebbw Vale to New­port ser­vice with one train per hour from May 2021.

■■ Ex­tra ser­vices from Cardiff to Chel­tenham by 2023.

■■New sta­tion at Cr­wys Road, Cardiff, by 2023.

■■Ex­tra ser­vices from Wrex­ham to Cardiff and Liver­pool by 2023. ■■New sta­tion at Loudoun Square, Cardiff opens by 2024.

■■New Metro sta­tion opens at Cardiff Bay by 2024, bring­ing on-street tram op­er­a­tion back to the cap­i­tal af­ter more than 70 years.

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