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Travel chaos expected over festive period as strike action continues

09 Dec 2022 3 minute read
A Heart of Wales Line train (pic by Stephen Miles)

Rail passengers are being warned to prepare for disruption across the Wales and Borders network over Christmas and New Year.

Industrial action regarding pay will significantly disrupt rail networks across Wales, England and Scotland with many services not operating.

The following dates will be affected by strike action:

  • Tuesday 13 December – Wednesday 14 December
  • Friday 16 December – Saturday 17 December
  • Saturday 18:00 24 December – Tuesday 06:00 27 December
  • Tuesday 03 January – Wednesday 04 January
  • Friday 06 January – Saturday 07 January


The industrial action resulting from the dispute between the unions and Network Rail means Transport for Wales will be unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.

Services in and around Cardiff will be able to operate on 13-14 and 16-17 December and 3-4 and 6-7 January.

The Wales and Borders network will be suspended and an hourly service will run between Cardiff and Newport, Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymey.

No other services across the Wales and Borders network will be able to operate on strike days.

On 15 December and 5 January, a full timetable will operate but services will start later than normal as night shift signalling will be affected by the strikes.

There will be no services on Christmas Day and Boxing Day..

Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Transport for Wales Chief Operations Officer, said: “We are continuing to advise people to only travel by rail on strike days if they have checked on journey planners first.

“Despite not being involved in the strikes, only around 10% of our services will be running and the majority of the Wales and Borders network will have no services at all.”

Great Western Railway will be able to operate to and from Cardiff on 13/14/16 December and 3/4/6 January, but not on Saturday 17 December or 7 January.

Plan ahead

Great Western Railway services will not be running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

From Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 December, train journeys between London and South Wales will be 25 minutes longer due to diversions between Swindon and Newport.

With expected lower numbers of travellers over the Christmas period, Transport for Wales is taking the opportunity to deliver major infrastructure work.

The railway line from Cardiff Bay to Pontypridd, Merthyr Tydfil and Treherbert, including the City Line will close to trains between 24 December to 31 December. A closure of the railway lines between Pontypridd to Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare will then take place from 2-24 January 2023.

During this time, bus replacement services will be in operation and passengers should check before they travel at

Network Rail will be carrying out engineering works between Swansea and Carmarthen between December 24 and 0400 on 27 December, when trains are not scheduled to run.

Further engineering works between the two locations is planned to take place between December 31 and January 2, with buses replacing trains.

Passengers are urged to plan ahead and check timetables before travelling at the TFW website.

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Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
1 year ago

At last! Signs of sensible thinking at Transport for Wales. Sensible to use the stoppage for carrying out maintenance work. We could probably do with a Crowdfundr page to support the striking workers. Has anybody seen one or set one up?

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