Transport for Wales Rail

Transport for Wales Rail Limited, branded as Transport for Wales and TfW Rail (Welsh: Trafnidiaeth Cymru and TrC Trenau), is a Welsh publicly-owned train operating company, a subsidiary of Transport for Wales (TfW), a Welsh Government-owned company. It commenced operations of the day to day services of the Wales & Borders franchise on 7 February 2021, as an operator of last resort, succeeding KeolisAmey Wales.[2][3] Transport for Wales Rail manages 248 National Rail stations, including all 222 in Wales, and operates all mainline services wholly within Wales, and services from Wales, Chester, and Shrewsbury to Liverpool, Manchester, Manchester Airport, Crewe, Birmingham, Bidston and Cheltenham.

Transport for Wales Rail Ltd.
Transport for Wales / TfW Rail
Trafnidiaeth Cymru / TrC Trenau
Transport wales logo18.svg
01.06.21 Swansea 175104 (51231606534).jpg
A Class 175 Coradia at Swansea in June 2021
Franchise(s)Wales & Borders
7 February 2021 – present
Main region(s)Wales
Other region(s)North West England
West Midlands
Stations operated248
Parent companyWelsh Government
(Transport for Wales)
Headquarters3 Llys Cadwyn, Pontypridd, Wales, CF37 4TH[1]
Reporting markAW [nb 1]
Dates of operation2021–
PredecessorKeolisAmey Wales
Other Edit this at Wikidata


In May 2018, the Wales & Borders franchise was awarded by Transport for Wales to KeolisAmey Wales.[4] Scheduled to run for 15 years, it commenced in October 2018.[5][6]

Following a collapse in revenues, and a significant reduction in passenger numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the original franchise had become financially unviable. On 7 February 2021, Transport for Wales Rail Limited, the Welsh Government's operator of last resort, succeeded KeolisAmey Wales as operator of the Wales & Borders franchise. KeolisAmey and Transport for Wales will continue a partnership on further improvements on the network, with Amey Infrastructure Wales (AIW) continuing to have an involvement in the delivering of some key projects such as the Core Valley Lines.[7][8][9][10]


Transport for Wales Rail operate on the following routes.[11] Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a temporary reduced timetable is in place so service patterns are not shown. Services may run on more than one route, and may skip stops.

Non-Valley routes
Route Stations Stock
North Wales to South Wales
Marches Line
... 150
Cambrian Line 158
Heart of Wales Line
North Wales Coast Line 158
Conwy Valley Line 150
Borderlands Line 150
Llandudno to Manchester Airport 175
West Wales Line
Maesteg to Cheltenham Spa 170
Chester to Crewe
Crewe to Shrewsbury 158
Liverpool Lime Street to Wrexham General
South Wales Valleys
Route Stations Stock
Rhondda Line 150
Merthyr Line
Coryton Line 150
Rhymney Line
Ebbw Vale Line 170
Butetown Branch
Vale of Glamorgan Line 150
City Line 150

Rolling stockEdit

Transport for Wales Rail inherited from KeolisAmey Wales a fleet of Class 143, 150, 153, 158, 170 and 175 diesel multiple units, Class 230 diesel-battery-electric multiple units, Class 769 bi-mode multiple units and Mark 4 and DVT sets with an allocation of Class 67 locomotives.

The non-PRM Class 143 Pacers were withdrawn on 29 May 2021 when their PRM non-compliance dispensation ended.[12]

Class 197 and 231 diesel multiple units, Class 756 tri-mode multiple units and Class 398 tram-trains will replace the 150s, remaining 153s, 158s, 175s and 769s by 2023.

Family Class Image Type Top speed Carriages Number Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Locomotive-hauled stock
Premier Service 67   Loco 125 200 6
  • Now in service with the MK4s
InterCity 225 Mark 4   Coach 140 225 4 or 5 37[13]
  • North to south inter-city service: Holyhead–Cardiff Central
  • To run as 7 x 4 or 5 coach + DVT sets with a spare DVT, SV and TOE[14]
Driving Van Trailer   Control car 1 8[13]
Diesel multiple units
Sprinter 150/2  
DMU 75 121 2 36
  • Valley Lines & Cardiff local routes
  • Heart of Wales/West Wales lines
  • Regional services between south and west Wales, north-west England and south-west England
153 Super Sprinter   1 26 1987–88
158/0 Express Sprinter   90 145 2 24
  • Cambrian line
  • Regional services between south and north Wales, north-west England and south-west England
Bombardier Turbostar 170/2  
100 161 2 3
  • Maesteg Line
  • Ebbw Valley Railway
  • South Wales Main Line[15]
3 8 1999
Alstom Coradia 175/0 & 175/1  
100 161 2 11
  • Regional services between north and south Wales and north-west England
3 16
Bi-mode multiple units
Flex 769/0 & 769/4   BMU 100 161 4 9 (5 in service)
  • Valley Lines
2019–2020[nb 2]

Future fleetEdit

All of Transport for Wales Rail's KeolisAmey Wales-inherited and extra temporary fleet is due to be replaced by 2023 (with the exception of the Class 67 locomotives).[16]

Cascades and refurbishmentsEdit

Class 67-hauled Mark 4 setEdit

Six Class 67 locomotives have been adapted to work with three sets each comprising four Mark 4 carriages and a Mark 4 Driving Van Trailer, which will replace the Mark 3 stock previously used on locomotive-hauled services.[citation needed] The twelve carriages and three DVTs were able to cascade from London North Eastern Railway, as a result of the introduction of Class 800s and Class 801s on the East Coast Main Line.[citation needed] The Mark 4 coaches have retained the Virgin Trains East Coast livery, but with Transport for Wales labels attached.[citation needed] The Mark 4 Driving Van Trailers will be repainted into the new Transport for Wales livery.[citation needed] Four of the six Class 67 locomotives have been repainted into TfW Rail livery.[citation needed] TfW Rail introduced the Mark 4 sets in June 2021 on Cardiff to Holyhead services, and from December 2022 they will operate services between Swansea and Manchester using trains which had previously been planned to be used on the Blackpool route by Grand Central.[17]

Class 230 D-TrainEdit
TfW Rail Class 230 on test prior to delivery

Five Class 230 D-Train diesel-battery-electric multiple units will enter service from May 2022.[18] These are being built in England from former London Underground D78 Stock aluminium bodyshells by start-up rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail.[19] The units began driver training in late August and will be in service May 2022.

New trainsEdit

For the longer term fleet replacement, 148 brand new trains will be introduced including 77 CAF Civity trains (Class 197), 35 FLIRT trains (Class 231 & Class 756) and 36 Citylink tram-trains (Class 398) have been ordered. The addition of these trains to the fleet, from 2021 to 2024 but mostly in 2022–23, will allow the 109 (total) Class 150, 153 (13 by then), 158, 175 and 769 units to be withdrawn.

Class 197 CivityEdit

A total of 77 Class 197 Civity diesel multiple units have been ordered from CAF for long-distance routes. These trains will have end gangways, but fewer toilets than the Class 158 and Class 175 DMUs they replace.[20] They will however be quicker, with more powerful engines and more efficient transmissions for better acceleration, as well as a higher top speed than the 158s.

CAF will undertake fabrication, welding and painting of the Class 197 fleet in their factory in Beasain, Spain. The first Driving Motor carriage vehicle bodyshell had largely passed this stage by 12 February 2020, when it was pictured in the Beasain factory.[21] The painted bodyshells will then be shipped to Newport, South Wales, for further assembly/component-fitment at CAF's new UK factory in Llanwern.[22]

Class 756/231 FLIRT and Class 398 CitylinkEdit

Also, a total of 35 Stadler FLIRT units have been ordered (consisting of 24 Class 756 tri-modes (7 three-car & 17 four-car units) and 11 Class 231 diesel-electrics) along with 36 Class 398 Stadler Citylink tram-trains.[23] These will be manufactured at the Stadler factory in Szolnok, Hungary and assembled at their plant in Bussnang, Switzerland.

Class 170Edit

All twelve Class 170s are to be transferred to East Midlands Railway by mid-2022. TfW Rail will retain eight Class 153s to operate services on the Heart of Wales line.[24]

The three Mark 4 sets and five Class 230s will also be retained and will remain on the routes they will work from their date of introduction on TfW Rail services.

Fleet summaryEdit

Family Class Image Type Top speed Carriages Number Routes operated Built In service
mph km/h
Diesel multiple units
CAF Civity 197[25]   DMU 100 161 2 51 From 2020 to TBC 2022–23
3 26


Diesel-electric multiple units
Vivarail D-Train 230[27]   DBEMU 60 97 3 5 2019–2020 May 2022
Stadler FLIRT 231   DEMU 90 145 4 11 2021–22 2022
Tri-mode multiple units[28]
Stadler FLIRT 756 TMU 100 161 3 7 Services between Caerphilly/Coryton to Penarth[29][30] TBC 2023
4 17 Services between Rhymney to Barry Island/Bridgend via VoG[29][30]


Stadler Citylink 398 Tram-train TBC 3 36 Services from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil 2020[28]–TBC 2022–23


  1. ^ Reporting mark inherited from Arriva Wales, the operator of the franchise between 2003 and 2018.
  2. ^ Class 319/4 units were initially built between 1987 and 1988


  1. ^ "TRANSPORT FOR WALES RAIL LTD - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  2. ^ "Welsh rail franchise now in public ownership". Transport For Wales News. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  3. ^ "Welsh rail franchise now in public ownership". GOV.WALES. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  4. ^ Keolis/Amey wins £5bn Wales rail contract Archived 2020-11-09 at the Wayback Machine BBC News 23 May 2018
  5. ^ Welsh Revival Railways Illustrated issue 186 August 2018 page 6
  6. ^ TfW Rail Services Begin Operation Modern Railways issue 842 November 2018 page 12
  7. ^ Written Statement: Future of Rail update Welsh Government 22 October 2020
  8. ^ Transport for Wales rail services to be nationalised BBC News 22 October 2020
  9. ^ Welsh Government takes control of franchise The Railway Magazine issue 1436 November 2020 page 6
  10. ^ Welsh Government takes control of Wales & Borders Rail issue 917 4 November 2020 page 14
  11. ^ "TfW Network Map" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Retrieved 8 December 2021. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ "TfW says goodbye to last Pacer trains". Transport for Wales Rail Limited. 1 June 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b TfW acquires former Grand Central Mk4s Rail Express issue 301 June 2021 page 34
  14. ^ a b "What's Happening in North Wales". Transport for Wales. Archived from the original on 7 June 2018. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  15. ^ "One Year In". Archived from the original on 5 November 2019. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  16. ^ "£800m fleet renewal plan for new Welsh franchise". International Railway Journal. Simmons-Boardman. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Transport for Wales introduces premium trains". Transport For Wales News. 7 June 2021.
  18. ^ "Coronavirus delay to Wrexham '230s'". Rail. No. 941. 6 October 2021. p. 15.
  19. ^ "New trains will be a boost for North Wales rail passengers". Press Release. Welsh Government. 28 March 2019. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  20. ^ Clark, Rhodri (23 April 2020). "Concern about '197' interior spec". Modern Railways. Key Publishing Ltd. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  21. ^ "TfW report completion of first class 197 bodyshell". Twitter. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  22. ^ "CAF commences design and engineering on DMUs for Wales and Borders franchise". Rail Technology Magazine. Cognitive Publishing. 21 February 2019. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  23. ^ "STADLER TO DELIVER 71 NEW TRAINS FOR WALES & BORDERS". Press Release. Stadler Rail AG. 28 February 2019. Archived from the original on 2 April 2019. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  24. ^ 153s acquired Modern Railways issue 874 July 2021 page 13
  25. ^ "KeolisAmey reveal new-look Wales trains and services". BBC News. BBC. 4 June 2018. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  26. ^ "What this means for Mid and South West Wales". Transport for Wales. Archived from the original on 14 October 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  27. ^ "Service Improvements" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Welsh Government. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  28. ^ a b Trains for Wales under construction Archived 2020-12-04 at the Wayback Machine - Rail Business UK. Retrieved 14 December 2020
  29. ^ a b "AMs WB Overview Presentation vJP AM" (PDF). KeolisAmey Wales. KeolisAmey Wales. Retrieved 5 June 2018.[dead link]
  30. ^ a b "CVL Rolling Stock List" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Transport for Wales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 14 August 2019.

External linksEdit

Preceded by
KeolisAmey Wales (t/a Transport for Wales)
Operator of Wales & Borders franchise
2021 -
Succeeded by