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North Wales railway line sees improvements to services

08 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Class 230 Wrexham – Image TfW

Targeted improvements to a north Wales railway line have seen more daily trains than ever before with fewer cancellations.

Also known as the Borderlands line, the Wrexham to Bidston line is 27 miles long with 15 stations between Wrexham Central and Bidston on the Wirral.

Customers using the line can connect to other services at Wrexham General, Shotton and Bidston, as well as local bus services.

Since the introduction of a new timetable in December, more than 80% of trains on the line have arrived either on time or within three minutes of their expected arrival time.

This is a rise from 2023 where most months saw less than 50% arrive within three minutes of the expected time.


Planning and Performance Director at Transport for Wales Colin Lea said: “It’s excellent news to see how these targeted changes are making a real difference to customers’ journeys.

“Our customers and stakeholders have been clear in what they want: a regular and reliable service that works for them.

“Quite simply, what we were delivering last year was not good enough. So, we appointed a dedicated route officer for the line to look at the issues we were facing.”

The new timetable saw the line move from one train per hour to one every 45 minutes, meaning an additional 8 trains per day – 4 in each direction.

This allowed for more recovery time during the journey, and longer turnaround times at each end, meaning more resilience and less cancellations.


Some of the problems last year centred around the reliability of new Class 230s which operate on the line.

Engineers have been working hard in the background to address those reliability issues, with a funded plan in place to make changes which are expected to improve reliability further later this year.

TfW have also introduced new Class 197 trains to the line working in tandem with the Class 230 to ease the pressure.

The Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, Ken Skates said: “This is great news. We appreciate this has been frustrating for passengers, but I am pleased that after all the hard work we are clearly beginning to see a significant improvement to this important service.”

“It’s been a very encouraging first three months,” added Mr Lea.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners to keep a close eye on performance, so we can make things better for customers as the investments in new trains come on stream.”

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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 month ago

Nice to hear that there are signs of improvement. Now how about doing the same with the Cambrian Coast line? OK, it does not supply workers for big English cities, but it is a useful local resource and brings in tourists in an environmentally friendly way.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

Any improvement is welcomed in the North , although I’m still waiting for the news that shovels & picks are in the ground regarding the £1 billion + rail electrification promised for the North Wales line pledged by PM Rishy Sunak & WS David TC Davies last year. Hang on. Surely they are not fibbing again to gain favour with the North Walian electorate as done in 2019 when it was unexpectedly announced with fanfare that rail electrification was being extended West in the South from Cardiff to Swansea as part of their 2019 Tory Wales manifesto only later for… Read more »

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
1 month ago

Still work to be done as reliability should be 95%+

1 month ago

But… but… but… I thought we were “wasting millions” on Transport for Wales, how can they be improving services if we’re “wasting millions” on TfW?!

Sorry, I’ve been drinking the Tory kool-aid again. That’ll serve me right for buying in to their propaganda.

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