DAM­AGE PUTS RAIL SER­VICES ON THE LINE

Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - RUTH MOSALSKI Re­porter [email protected]­line.co.uk

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

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