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New rail service delayed due to train shortages

06 Dec 2023 3 minute read
Image: Transport for Wales.

Emily Price

Transport for Wales has confirmed it will delay the introduction of increased services on a south Wales line due to a shortage of trains after a number suffered wheel damage.

The rail operator had previously planned to launch direct services between Ebbw Vale and Newport from this week with two trains per hour – one to Cardiff and one to Newport.

It would have seen more than 60 services running on the line every single day.

The plans were the result of a £70 million investment through the Welsh Government and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council.

However, TfW said today the plans will be delayed until January 2024 because stormy weather throughout November led to several trains suffered wheel damage.

A repair programme will now take place over the coming weeks.

Once TfW have enough serviceable trains, the operator will increase the timetables on the Newport to Ebbw Vales route.

Delay

Rhianon Passmore MS for Islwyn said she was “disappointed” at the news and has requested a meeting with TfW’s Chief Executive.

She said: “The Chief Executive of Transport for Wales, James Price, has written to me informing me that the introduction of the new rail service to Newport is delayed. It will now start in the New Year.

“I am naturally disappointed at the news as I know the people of Islwyn will be. However, there remains no doubt that the new service is coming. I have asked to meet with James Price at the Transport for Wales HQ in Pontypridd to discuss this and several issues that have been raised with me by residents.

The Ebbw Vale to Cardiff passenger railway line, re-introduced in 2008, has been a success story. They key is now delivering on the new service to Newport. Then the introduction of Transport for Wales bespoke trains for the line in 2024 is vital.

The success of this railway line serving communities in Islwyn is one that I am passionate about. I remain committed to ensuring that it improves further to serve the people of Gwent.”

Repairs

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “We have a comprehensive programme in place for repairing the damaged wheels on the trains affected, which will take most of December to complete. This will cause a few weeks of delay to delivering the frequency enhancements planned as part of the December 2023 new timetable.

“Our engineers are working as fast as they can to get the repairs completed, which will put us in a stronger position to reliably deliver the new services, making sure we have enough rolling stock.”


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Bob McIntyre
Bob McIntyre
7 months ago

TfW have plenty of Class 175 units sitting doing nothing in Chester and there are still, despite the promise this would stop 12 months ago, Class 150s and Class 153 cattle trucks being used on Cardiff – Manchester/Holyhead trains. There are also other units sitting doing nothing in Swansea and Carmarthen because there aren’t enough staff to man services in West Wales where wholesale cancellations have been rife for weeks. Oh, yes, and the Class 170 units which were working the Ebbw Vale line have gone off the Midlands…

Last edited 7 months ago by Bob McIntyre
Ap Kenneth
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob McIntyre

Is this a result of leasing trains and not actually owning them?

Neil Ash
Neil Ash
7 months ago

TfW are truly lamentable. I wish I had a pound for every train cancelled over the last two years because of “……more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.” Are they answerable to no-one? If the answer is “yes, the Welsh Government” then we can all dream on.

Keith Parry
Keith Parry
7 months ago

Digon yw Digon. The CEO of TFW is not up to the job and should resign or be sackied.. They have had five years to sort this out yet all we get are pathetic excuses. TFW are a failure. The have no excuse for not running 99% of services.

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