Train operator issues apology
Transport for Wales says sorry for delays to services:
TRANSPORT for Wales has apologised to customers for the numbers of services which have been cancelled or delayed since it took over a month ago.
The train operator has taken out a full page advert in the Western Mail titled “We’re sorry” to apologise.
Trains have been out of action and sat in the depot awaiting repairs – and it’s all because of leaves.
Last Thursday, more than 20 Welsh train services were cancelled on busy commuter routes at peak times, because of broken down trains.
According to Transport for Wales (TfW), it is having to deal with more trains than usual being out of service because debris on the tracks is causing damage to the wheels.
In its advert, it says: “We’re sorry that over recent weeks too many trains have been cancelled, delayed, or have arrived with fewer carriages than normal.
“We know that overcrowding and uncertainty are big challenges for people, and we want to apologise that you haven’t received the service that you deserve and expect.
“Safety is our top priority.
“Ongoing issues associated with recent storms in combination with ageing trains have led to an unprecedented number of our trains being out of service, and this has meant we have had to run reduced services across the whole of our network. 36 trains out of a total fleet of 127 are currently under repair.
“We are running additional buses to replace service that have been cancelled and to provide extra capacity where we expect trains will be very busy.”
It added: “Our engineers are working around the clock to repair the existing fleet of trains and keep the tracks clear of debris during the blustery and slippery autumn weather.
“Our maintenance depots are operating 24 hours a day, and we are working with suppliers to speed up these essential repairs.”
Many passengers have been left less than impressed with the standard of service from TfW, which took over the rail franchise in Wales last month.
Some took to social media to vent their frustrations.
A spokesman for TfW confirmed Arriva had carried out maintenance works on its trains over and above what was required of it.
He also explained how the impacts of Storm Callum were still being felt, while other trains were being retrofitted with disabled-access toilets.
TfW plans to increase the number of trains by around 65% in the next few years.
A tree damaged train which is now in need of repair