Transport for Wales warns of disruption as safety checks continue on Class 175 trains
Transport for Wales (TfW) is warning customers of travel disruption this week, with services affected by train shortages and industrial action.
TfW says it has temporarily withdrawn a number of its Class 175 trains to allow additional maintenance checks to be carried out following some recent “mechanical issues”.
It follows three incidents in recent weeks which had to be attended by fire crews, including one on a Holyhead to Cardiff service last month, which saw passengers evacuated and a road closed.
There are 27 Class 175 trains in the Transport for Wales fleet.
While the operator had hoped these units would be back in service before the weekend, safety checks are still on-going and as a result disruption is likely to continue for the remainder of the coming week.
Disruption is likely across the Wales and Borders network as trains are moved to provide capacity where demand is highest following the withdrawal of the Class 175 trains.
Customers are advised to check before they travel.
This includes first and last trains and any ferry connections to ensure sufficient time is allowed.
Routes affected by the changes are:
- Newport – Crosskeys – service cancelled (no rail replacement).
- Chester-Liverpool – service cancelled (Merseyrail ticket acceptance).
- Conwy Valley Line – service cancelled (rail replacement).
- Wrexham-Bidston Line – service cancelled with rail replacement buses.
- West Wales lines – some services to Pembroke Dock (w/c 13/03) cancelled with rail replacement buses.
- All Milford Haven and Fishguard services cancelled west of Carmarthen – majority of services will have rail replacement buses.
- Cambrian Coast – early morning Barmouth service cancelled, with rail replacement buses.
- Core Valley Lines – reduced service on some routes.
Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Chief Operations Officer at TfW, said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues remains our priority and it is important that all the necessary checks and repairs have been completed on each of our Class 175 trains before being allowed back into service.
“The Class 175s are maintained on our behalf by CAF at their depot in Chester, and while we have this shortage of rolling stock, we are moving trains around the network to try and minimise the impact on the busiest routes.
“We’re very sorry for any disruption to customers’ journeys while we work to carry out the repairs as quickly as possible.”
TfW Services will also be affected by industrial action later this week.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) announced last week that planned strike action at Network Rail has been suspended. However, strike action at 14 train operating companies (not including TfW) will still go ahead as planned on 16 and 18 March. There will be some changes to TfW’s timetable as a result.
Some services are also likely to be extremely busy as a result of the severely-reduced timetable put in place by other operators.
- Services between Chester and Liverpool will not run.
- Services will not call at Wilmslow.
- Services calling at Stockport will be set down only towards Manchester and pick up only towards Crewe.
- Before 09:15 and after 21:15 – services between South Wales and Cheltenham will terminate at Lydney
- Before 07:00 and after 19:00 – services between North Wales and Manchester will terminate at Chester.
- Services on the Marches Line will terminate at Shrewsbury.
- Services to Birmingham International will terminate at Birmingham New Street.
Passengers travelling to Cheltenham Festival are advised to seek alternative travel arrangements as services to Cheltenham between 0915 and 2115 will be limited and very busy. Gloucester station will be closed all day.
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I’d be more shocked if the trains actually ran. Disruption is normal these days.
Better have a word with Lee Waters he’ll fix it…
Easier just to tell us the odd day running. I laugh that they seem to have put the infrastructure for electric cable near stations, to give the appearance of good progress, with long empty gaps. And no Welsh announcements on valleys trains. Even arriva did better