Train op­er­a­tor is­sues apol­ogy

Trans­port for Wales says sorry for de­lays to ser­vices:

Cynon Valley - - FRONT PAGE - LAURA CLEMENTS [email protected]­line.co.uk

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.

TRANS­PORT FOR WALES

A tree dam­aged train which is now in need of re­pair

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