Posted: Thu 23rd Mar 2023

Disruption and train shortages on Transport for Wales network to continue until early April

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Mar 23rd, 2023

Disruption on the Transport for Wales (TfW) network is expected to continue until next month. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

At the beginning of March, TfW ‘temporarily’ withdrew most of its Class 175 trains from service due to safety concerns while “enhanced maintenance” is carried out. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The move left TfW “short of rolling stock”, including on the Wrexham to Bidston line. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Class 175s form the backbone of TfW’s express services operating across Wales. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​ ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​However many have been taken out of service across the following a spate of fires that have plagued the trains. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Maintenance checks have found that some of the trains need further repairs to the engines before they come back into passenger service. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As a result, disruption to passenger services is likely to continue into early April. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Disruption is likely across the Wales and Borders network, not just on those routes served by the Class 175s, as trains are moved to provide capacity where demand is highest. Customers are asked 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.
Cambrian Coast – early morning Barmouth service cancelled, with rail replacement buses.
Core Valley Lines – reduced service on some routes. No services between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil until Monday 3 April due to transformation work for the South Wales Metro.
West Wales lines – rail services have resumed.
Milford Haven and Fishguard services west of Carmarthen – rail services have resumed. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Chief Operations Officer at TfW, said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues remains our top priority. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Our Class 175 trains will not be allowed into passenger service again until each train has had its engines checked and repaired, and has passed the relevant safety inspections. This programme of work is happening as we speak, at Chester depot, where these trains are maintained on our behalf by CAF Rail UK. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“An initial supply of materials is available for the repair programme, and further parts are being sourced from overseas to speed up the process. The position will improve each week, and the completion of the repair programme is expected to go into April. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Whilst this leaves us with a temporary shortage of rolling stock, other fleets are being spread out across the Wales and Borders network, and timetables have been adjusted to try and impact the fewest number of passengers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We’re very sorry for the disruption to customers’ journeys while we carry out this essential work.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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