DAMAGE PUTS RAIL SERVICES ON THE LINE
RAIL passengers will face further disruption next week, with services all across Wales affected. A third of services are now out of action.
Transport for Wales say it is a combination of issues caused by recent storms and ageing trains. They say the number of trains out of service is “unprecedented”.
Reduced services are running across the network and they say they have given priority to the areas of greatest need.
Customers are strongly advised to check before they travel and to be aware replacement bus services may be in operation.
Staff at depots are working “around the clock” to repair issues, especially damaged wheels caused by the autumnal weather.
A spokesman said: “Transport for Wales are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause and assure customers we are working hard to resolve this unprecedented challenge.”
Colin Lea from Transport for Wales said many trains were just “too damaged” to run.
“We are committed to delivering the best possible service for passengers and we apologise for the short notice changes to services and reduced number of trains in operation,” he said.
“Safety is our top priority and many of our trains are too damaged to run. This means we have around 20 less trains available to us than normal.
“Progress is being made and we have sent trains away to other parts of the UK for repair, plus running our depot repair equipment around the clock with staff working overtime through the night.
“This equipment, which we inherited from the previous operator, is however 33 years old and is not as effective as more modern kit.
“The scale of the situation means that we do not expect to be able to return to the normal level of service for a further two to three weeks. As trains are repaired they will of course be returned to use immediately. Milford Haven and Carmarthen will be replaced by a bus
8.14 Swansea – Fishguard Harbour will be replaced by a bus
9.53 Fishguard Harbour – Carmarthen will be replaced by a bus Swansea – Shrewsbury via Llandrindod (Heart of Wales line):
4.53am Carmarthen – Llandovery cancelled. Cardiff Central – Cheltenham Spa:
6.13am Cardiff Central – Cheltenham Spa cancelled.
7.46am Cheltenham Spa – Maesteg will start at Cardiff Central.
3.17pm Maesteg – Cheltenham Spa will terminate at Cardiff Central.
“Wherever possible, we aim to provide bus alternatives to train services where the shortage of trains is most affected, and enable tickets to be used on other public transport providers and alternative train operators.
“We thank them for their help in this difficult situation.
“Ahead of autumn next year, we have committed to invest in additional and better trains, more modern depot repair equipment and also in technology to help when train wheels slide on the rails (a form of antilock braking).
“We remain resolutely focused on delivering the best possible service for passengers today, whilst planning for a better future and transformation in time.” 5.46pm Cheltenham Spa – Maesteg will start at Cardiff Central. Other alterations:
5.35am Cardiff Central – Milford Haven, replacement road transport will operate.
6.00am Carmarthen – Manchester Piccadilly will start at Cardiff Central.
6.10am Shrewsbury – Wrexham General will be cancelled.
6.42am Cardiff Central – Pembroke Dock will terminate at Swansea.
7.16am Cardiff Central – Swansea cancelled. 11.10am Cardiff Central – Llanelli cancelled. 12.32pm Holyhead – Maesteg will not operate between Shrewsbury and Cardiff Central.
12.45pm Llanelli – Cardiff Central. Replacement road transport will operate.
4.25pm Llandudno Junction – Chester cancelled.
6.39pm Llandudno Junction – Chester cancelled. 7.55pm Chester – Crewe cancelled. 8.23pm Crewe – Chester will be cancelled. 8.49pm Wrexham General – Shrewsbury cancelled. Cardiff Valleys:
Services on all Cardiff Valleys routes will be reduced. Additional bus services will supplement the train service between Taffs Well/Lisvane & Thornhill – Cardiff Queen St/ Cardiff Central. Further details are available on the Transport for Wales website.
One of the trains that was a victim of the recent storms