Transport for Wales chaos: Normal service on trains within days, says minister

By Jonny Drury | Shrewsbury | Transport | Published:

Train services in the region that have been hit with a string of delays and cancellations will be back to normal service within days.

Transport for Wales, the arms length Welsh Government company which runs the Wales and Borders line from Mid Wales into the Shrewsbury and Birmingham, has come under intense pressure in recent weeks due to cancelled and delayed trains.

The company, which took over the franchise earlier this year has had a number of trains off the track in its first few months of service, with engineers working 1,000 hours overtime to fix the problems.

Services from Montgomeryshire into Shrewsbury and Birmingham are still being effected, with commuters reporting being packed into rush hour trains.

However, Transport Secretary Ken Skates told a committee in the Welsh Assembly on Wednesday that services will be back to normal within days.

He described the effort made by TfW has 'Herculean', with train members going from 86 out of 127 on the track, to 103 trains in a few days.


In answering questions from a number of AMs including Montgomeryshire's Russell George he said under the previous regime of Arriva Trains Wales "the trains were maintained to an absolute minimum standard."

He also told AMs it takes up to a week to resolve the worst problems, and that next autumn should be a better one for commuters up and down the country, with a larger fleet being made available.


The trains off the track have hit services all over Wales, and last week Network Rail and Transport for Wales launched a joint investigation to understand why this autumn’s weather caused so much damage to the fleet.

A leading industry expert is currently conducting a range of scientific studies on the track conditions and how the trains have coped with them to help prevent a similar situation happening again.

James Price, chief executive of Transport for Wales, said: “As our engineering teams return our trains to the tracks, passengers will start to see their services improving.

"We know that this has been a difficult time for our passengers, and we’d like to thank them for their patience.

“Our main focus now is on understanding what went wrong, and doing everything in our power to prevent it happening again.

"In the long term, that will be investing £800m in new trains across the network, but while those trains are being built and tested, keeping our current fleet fit for service will remain a top priority.”

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.


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