Transport for Wales has introduced an improved rail service between Cardiff and Holyhead with greater capacity and fully refurbished intercity carriages.
The twice-daily trains call at Shrewsbury station.
The first intercity train left Holyhead at 5.34am today, was in Shrewsbury just after 8am and was due in Cardiff at 9.58am. The return train gets into Shrewsbury at 7.14pm.
Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Assembly Minister for North Wales, travelled on the first service south and said: “The introduction of these high-quality trains is another positive step towards encouraging more people back on the train on this popular route by providing them with a more enjoyable experience.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said: “We’re continuing with our plans to transform transport across our network and improve the customer experience. This week we’ve introduced additional Mark 4 carriages on our north-south Wales route that will improve the service."
Transport of Wales also announced that they have successfully purchased a further 30 Mark 4 intercity carriages fully refurbished to a high standard. This will include four trains of five carriages which will enter service on the Swansea to Manchester route from December 2022.
The new trains will include First Class carriages, free Wi-Fi throughout, an enhanced food and drink offer including a buffet car, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities. There will also be wheelchair and priority seating available. The carriages were purchased thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.
Mr Price said: “I’m also delighted to announce our plans to introduce premium intercity carriages to our network within the next two years. The Swansea-Manchester route is one of our most popular, providing key links between the cities of south Wales and north-west England. By introducing these high-quality trains, we’re recognising its importance as an intercity route and providing a more attractive alternative to travelling by car.
“The investment in high-quality trains demonstrates we’re going above and beyond our original commitment to transform the Wales and Borders rail service and deliver a world-class service for our customers throughout our network, including in the Heart of Wales and west Wales where we’re upgrading our original plans.”