Transport for Wales (TfW) has improved its rail service between Cardiff and Holyhead, increasing capacity by introducing fully refurbished intercity carriages.
The first of the new intercity trains left Holyhead at 05:34 on 7 June and arrived in Cardiff at 09:58, providing an essential link between north and south Wales.
Lesley Griffiths, the 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.”
Transport of Wales also announced that it has successfully purchased a further 30 Mark 4 intercity carriages that are 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 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 Mark 4 carriages, which formerly operated on England’s East Coast route and are hauled by Class 67 diesel locomotives provided by DB Cargo, were purchased thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.
James Price, chief executive officer of Transport for Wales, said: “We’re continuing with our plans to transform transport across our network and improve the customer experience. Today, we’ve introduced additional Mark 4 carriages on our north-south Wales route that will improve the service.
“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 on the Heart of Wales and west Wales where we’re upgrading our original plans.”