New Carmarthen-London train service could launch within three years
A new train service between Wales and London could be launched within three years.
Prospective operator Grand Union Trains (GUT) said it wants to run five daily return services between Carmarthen, south-west Wales and London Paddington from 2025.
It has submitted an application to regulator the Office of Rail and Road for permission to run the services on an open access basis in competition with Great Western Railway.
The Government issues contracts for most train services on Britain’s railways, but there are four open access operators, which do not receive subsidies from the Department for Transport.
They are Grand Central, Heathrow Express, Hull Trains and Lumo.
GUT’s bid involves building a new station at Felindre – next to the M4 motorway to the north of Swansea – which would reduce journey times from Carmarthen and Llanelli to Cardiff and on to London by around 20 minutes.
A fleet of new bi-mode trains which can be powered by electricity or diesel would be used.
Passengers would benefit from “best experience in the market” with bigger seats, more legroom, increased luggage space and a buffet car on every service, according to GUT.
The project is being developed in partnership with European investment company Serena Industrial Partners and Spanish train operator Renfe.
GUT managing director Ian Yeowart said: “We have been pleased to work on promoting this important service which will, for the first time, deliver significant new infrastructure as part of the application process.
“Our high-quality offer will undoubtedly improve the user’s experience while using the UK rail network, a worldwide rail reference that continues to evolve every day.
“For this goal, we have been proud to work alongside colleagues at Serena and Renfe whose vision for improved services is close to our own and has enabled us to put forward this ambitious project to the ORR.”
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Nice. And will it be extended to reach Aberystwyth and points North?
Extended using freight wagons or cattle trucks! Wales Gov will duck this issue so no chance of their masters in London even looking at it
We need our own self-dependent rail network first.
A great way to reduce congestion on the M4 – until the rise in fuel costs I was forced to drive to Cardiff and points east along the M4. I really wanted to take the train but the ridiculous cost put me off. Extra competition may help reduce these costs and travel via the Swansea freight route will slice 20 mins off the Cardiff journey time from deep west Wales. Nothing to stop Tranport from Wales utilising the Swansea freight line via Felindre more than it currently does too.
Iawn. Ond beth am reilffordd de-gogledd teilwng o’r enw – rhywbeth i uno tiriogaeth Cymru?
Chalk another one up for the gravity well of talent and opportunity. How about a Carmarthen-Aber service for us plebs, or is the black hole that is London that damned irresistible?