Transport for Wales Rail Services
KeolisAmey Operations Limited (Welsh: Gweithrediadau KeolisAmey), trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services (TfW Rail Services) was a Welsh train operating company owned by Keolis (60%) and Amey (40%) that operated the Wales & Borders franchise.
|Franchise(s)||Wales & Borders|
14 October 2018 –
6 February 2021
|Dates of operation||2018–2021|
|Predecessor||Arriva Trains Wales|
|Successor||Transport for Wales Rail Limited|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in)|
The Welsh Government body Transport for Wales awarded the contract for the Wales and Borders franchise to KeolisAmey in 2018 which commenced rail operations on 14 October 2018. KeolisAmey used the brand names Transport for Wales and TfW Rail (Welsh: Trafnidiaeth Cymru and TrC Trenau), which are owned by the Welsh Government, for day-to-day operations. The Welsh Government nationalised the franchise on 7 February 2021, transferring operations to Transport for Wales Rail Limited, although KeolisAmey will continue to provide a infrastructural role in the franchise.
In October 2017, Arriva withdrew from the bidding process, followed in February 2018 by Abellio, after the collapse of its partner Carillion. In May 2018, the franchise was awarded to KeolisAmey Wales. It commenced on 14 October 2018 and it was to run for 15 years.
In January 2020 Keolis Amey was fined £2.3 million by the Welsh government for poor performance of rail services. The company is also expected to be criticised by the Welsh Language Commissioner later in 2020 for reportedly breaking legislation on Welsh language provision six times since taking over the franchise in 2018. KeolisAmey Wales told the BBC that it did not believe any rules had been broken. Complaints included that Welsh was given lesser treatment on self-service machines, websites, and on the mobile app, that correspondence was not issued fully in Welsh, that train tickets were printed only in English, and that station and train announcements were not always made bilingually.
With a collapse in revenues, and a significant reduction in passenger numbers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic having made the original franchise financially unviable, on 7 February 2021 the franchise was taken over by the Welsh Government's operator of last resort, Transport for Wales Rail Limited, a subsidiary of Transport for Wales, with AmeyKeolis Infrastructure having an involvement in delivering some key projects such as the Core Valley Lines.
Typical TfW weekday off-peak service was as follows:
|North Wales Coast Line|
|Cardiff Central to Holyhead||8tpd||Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool & New Inn, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster (3tpd), Ludlow (7tpd), Craven Arms (7tpd), Church Stretton (7tpd), Shrewsbury, Gobowen (7tpd), Chirk (7tpd), Ruabon (7tpd), Wrexham General, Chester, Shotton (4tpd), Flint, Prestatyn (7tpd), Rhyl, Abergele & Pensarn (3tpd), Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Conwy (3tpd), Penmaenmawr (3tpd), Llanfairfechan (3tpd), Bangor (7tpd), Llanfairpwll (7tpd), Bodorgan (5tpd), Ty Croes (5tpd), Rhosneigr (5tpd) and Valley (5tpd).
Only 7 tpd terminate in Holyhead as one turns off at Llandudno Junction and terminates at Llandudno, calling at Deganwy en route.
|1tpd||Newport, Cwmbran (Holyhead-bound only), Pontypool (Holyhead-bound only), Abergavenny (Holyhead-bound only), Hereford, Ludlow (Cardiff-bound only), Shrewsbury, Wrexham General, Chester, Flint, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction and Bangor
0534 from Holyhead and 1716 from Cardiff Central is the Premier Service which calls at fewer stops and has 1st class accommodation available with meals included.
|Birmingham International to Holyhead||1tp2h||Birmingham New Street, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Telford Central, Wellington, Shrewsbury, Gobowen, Chirk, Ruabon, Wrexham General, Chester, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Conwy, Penmaenmawr, Llanfairfechan and Bangor||158|
|Manchester Airport to Llandudno||1||East Didsbury, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Oxford Road, Newton-le-Willows, Earlestown, Warrington Bank Quay, Runcorn East, Frodsham, Helsby, Chester, Shotton, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Abergele & Pensarn, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction and Deganwy
6 inter-peak trains each day begin/end at the airport, 1 early morning and 2 late evening trains do too, not calling at East Didsbury. Other trains begin at Manchester Piccadilly.
|Crewe to Chester||1||shuttle||150, 158, 175|
|Chester to Liverpool Lime Street||1||Helsby, Frodsham, Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway|
|South Wales – Manchester|
|Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly||1tp2h||Johnston, Haverfordwest, Clarbeston Road, Clunderwen, Whitland, Carmarthen, Pembrey & Burry Port, Llanelli, Gowerton, Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, Bridgend, Cardiff Central, Newport, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Shrewsbury, Crewe, Wilmslow and Stockport||175|
|Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly||1tp2h||Ferryside, Kidwelly, Pembrey & Burry Port, Llanelli, Gowerton, Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, Bridgend, Pencoed, Llanharan, Pontyclun, Cardiff Central, Newport, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, Whitchurch, Nantwich, Crewe, Wilmslow and Stockport|
|Fishguard Harbour to Manchester Piccadilly||1tpd||Fishguard and Goodwick, Clarbeston Road, Whitland, Carmarthen, Pembrey & Burry Port, Llanelli, Gowerton, Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, Bridgend, Pencoed, Llanharan, Pontyclun, Cardiff Central, Newport, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, Whitchurch, Nantwich, Crewe, Wilmslow and Stockport||150|
|Birmingham International to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli||1tp2h||Birmingham New Street, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Telford Central, Wellington, Shrewsbury, Welshpool, Newtown, Caersws, Machynlleth...
The two portions divide/attach at Machynlleth.
Dovey Junction, Borth and Bow Street
|Pwllheli portion: |
Dovey Junction, Penhelig, Aberdovey, Tywyn, Tonfanau, Llwyngwril, Fairbourne, Morfa Mawddach, Barmouth, Llanaber, Talybont, Dyffryn Ardudwy, Llanbedr, Pensarn, Llandanwg, Harlech, Tygwyn, Talsarnau, Llandecwyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Minffordd, Porthmadog, Criccieth, Penychain and Abererch
|Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth||-||Welshpool, Newtown, Caersws, Machynlleth, Dovey Junction, Borth and Bow Street |
Additional trains that run so that there is a service most hours between Shrewsbury and Aberystwyth
|Heart of Wales Line|
|Carmarthen to Llandovery||1||Llanelli, Bynea, Llangennech, Pontarddulais, Pantyffynnon, Ammanford, Llandybie, Ffairfach, Llandeilo, Llangadog and Llanwrda||150, 153|
|Llandrindod to Crewe||1||Pen-y-Bont, Dolau, Llanbister Road, Llangynllo, Knucklas, Knighton, Bucknell, Hopton Heath, Broome, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, Yorton, Wem, Prees, Whitchurch, Wrenbury and Nantwich|
|Swansea to Shrewsbury and Crewe||4||Gowerton, Llanelli, Bynea, Llangennech, Pontarddulais, Pantyffynnon, Ammanford, Llandybie, Ffairfach, Llandeilo, Llangadog, Llanwrda, Llandovery, Cynghordy, Sugar Loaf, Llanwrtyd, Llangammarch, Garth, Cilmeri, Builth Road, Llandrindod, Pen-y-Bont, Dolau, Llanbister Road, Llangynllo, Knucklas, Knighton, Bucknell, Hopton Heath, Broome, Craven Arms and Church Stretton |
2tpd extend to/from Crewe, calling at Yorton, Wem, Prees, Whitchurch, Wrenbury and Nantwich
|Shrewsbury to Crewe||5||Yorton, Wem, Prees, Whitchurch, Wrenbury and Nantwich |
creates an every-2-hours service alongside trains beginning further south
|Conwy Valley Line|
|Blaenau Ffestiniog to Llandudno||6||Roman Bridge, Dolwyddelan, Pont-y-Pant, Betws-y-Coed, Llanrwst, North Llanrwst, Dolgarrog, Tal-y-Cafn, Glan Conwy, Llandudno Junction and Deganwy||150|
|Wrexham Central to Bidston||1||Wrexham General, Gwersyllt, Cefn-y-Bedd, Caergwrle, Hope, Penyffordd, Buckley, Hawarden, Shotton, Hawarden Bridge, Neston, Heswall and Upton||150|
|West Wales Locals|
|Pembroke Dock to Swansea||1tp2h||Pembroke, Lamphey, Manorbier, Penally, Tenby, Saundersfoot, Kilgetty, Narberth, Whitland, Carmarthen, Pembrey & Burry Port, and Llanelli||150, 153, 158, 175|
|Fishguard Harbour to Swansea||1tp2h||Fishguard and Goodwick, Clarbeston Road, Clunderwen, Whitland, Camarthen, Pembrey & Burry Port and Llanelli|
|Swansea to Cardiff Central||1tp2h||Llansamlet, Skewen, Neath, Briton Ferry, Baglan, Port Talbot Parkway, Pyle, Bridgend, Pencoed and Pontyclun||150, 153, 158|
|West Wales-Gloucestershire Line|
|Maesteg to Cheltenham Spa||1||Maesteg (Ewenny Road), Garth, Tondu, Sarn, Wildmill, Bridgend, Pencoed, Llanharan, Pontyclun, Cardiff Central, Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction, Caldicot, Chepstow, Lydney and Gloucester
Some trains terminate at Cardiff Central, rather than Cheltenham Spa.
doesn't run when Fishguard - Gloucester service runs
|150, 153, 158, 170, 175|
|Fishguard Harbour to Gloucester||4tpd||Fishguard and Goodwick, Clarbeston Road, Clunderwen, Whitland, Carmarthen, Ferryside, Kidwelly, Pembrey & Burry Port, Llanelli, Gowerton, Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, Bridgend, Pencoed, Llanharan, Pontyclun, Cardiff Central, Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction, Caldicot, Chepstow and Lydney
Some trains terminate at Cardiff Central, rather than Gloucester.
|Ebbw Valley Railway|
|Cardiff Central to Ebbw Vale Town||1||Pye Corner, Rogerstone, Risca & Pontymister, Crosskeys, Newbridge, Llanhilleth and Ebbw Vale Parkway||150, 153, 158, 170, 175|
|Penarth to Bargoed and Rhymney||4||Dingle Road, Grangetown, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Heath High Level, Llanishen, Lisvane & Thornhill, Caerphilly, Aber, Energlyn & Churchill Park (2tph), Llanbradach, Ystrad Mynach, Hengoed, Pengam, and Gilfach Fargoed (1tph).
1tph extends to Rhymney, calling at Brithdir, Tir-Phil and Pontlottyn
|143, 150, 769|
|Merthyr & Vale of Glamorgan Lines|
|Bridgend to Aberdare||1||Llantwit Major, Rhoose Cardiff International Airport, Barry, Barry Docks, Cadoxton, Dinas Powys, Eastbrook, Cogan, Grangetown, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Cathays, Llandaf, Radyr, Taffs Well, Trefforest, Pontypridd, Abercynon, Penrhiwceiber, Mountain Ash, Fernhill and Cwmbach||143, 150|
|Barry Island to Aberdare||1||Barry, Barry Docks, Cadoxton, Dinas Powys, Eastbrook, Cogan, Grangetown, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Cathays, Llandaf, Radyr, Taffs Well, Trefforest, Pontypridd, Abercynon, Penrhiwceiber, Mountain Ash, Fernhill and Cwmbach|
|Barry Island to Merthyr Tydfil||2||Barry, Barry Docks, Cadoxton, Dinas Powys, Eastbrook, Cogan, Grangetown, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Cathays, Llandaf, Radyr, Taffs Well, Trefforest Estate, Trefforest, Pontypridd, Abercynon, Quakers Yard, Merthyr Vale, Troed-y-rhiw and Pentre-bach|
|Cardiff Central to Treherbert||2||Cardiff Queen Street, Cathays, Llandaf, Radyr, Taffs Well, Trefforest, Pontypridd, Trehafod, Porth, Dinas Rhondda, Tonypandy, Llwynypia, Ystrad Rhondda, Ton Pentre, Treorchy and Ynyswen||143, 150|
|City & Coryton Lines|
|Radyr to Coryton||2||Danescourt, Fairwater, Waun-gron Park, Ninian Park, Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Heath Low Level, Ty Glas, Birchgrove, Rhiwbina and Whitchurch||143, 153|
|Butetown Branch Line|
|Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay||5||shuttle||143, 150, 153|
In 2019 and 2020, more Class 153s, Class 170s and Mark 4s were acquired from other operators. In November 2020, the first 3 Class 769 entered service. These allowed for the Class 142s and Mark 3s to be withdrawn.
Class 143 PacerEdit
KeolisAmey Wales operated 15 Class 143s. All had advertising vinyls applied, with the messages 'The start of a new journey', 'The journey is almost over for old trains', and 'These trains will terminate soon', stating rolling stock, infrastructure and service improvements.
From 1 January 2021, the 143s were only able to operate coupled to (a) PRM-compliant unit(s), and the toilets were locked out of use due to Network Rail no longer wanting waste from non-tanked toilets being dropped onto their tracks.
Class 150, 158 and 175 DMUsEdit
Class 153 Super SprintersEdit
In April 2019 KeolisAmey Wales added five 153s acquired from Great Western Railway to the eight it previously had. Four of these entered service the following month, while the fifth entered service on 21 October 2019 as the first 153 on the whole GB rail network with PRM modifications.
In October 2019, Porterbrook announced that it would lease a further nine Class 153s to KeolisAmey Wales for use on a short-term basis. These comprise five 153s from Greater Anglia which entered service in January 2020, and four 153s from East Midlands Railway which entered service in February 2020. In November 2020, two more 153s arrived from East Midlands Railway.
Class 170 TurbostarsEdit
In September 2019 KeolisAmey Wales took delivery of the first of 12 Class 170 Turbostar DMUs from Abellio Greater Anglia. As of September 2020, Transport for Wales operate the 12 Class 170s on the Maesteg/Cardiff/Ebbw Vale-Cheltenham routes.
Class 769 FlexEdit
Nine Class 769 Flex bi-mode multiple units were due to be delivered by 2019, following conversion from Class 319 electric multiple units, by fitting diesel generators and extra electronic equipment to some previously unused below-solebar space. The first 3 entered service in November and December 2020.
Fleet at end of franchiseEdit
|Family||Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Carriages||Number||Routes Operated||Built|
|Locomotive hauled stock|
|Diesel multiple units|
|153 Super Sprinter||1||24||1987–88|
|158/0 Express Sprinter||90||140||2||24||
|Alstom Coradia||175/0 & 175/1||
||100||161||2||11||Regional services between North West England, North and South Wales||1999–2001|
|Bi-mode multiple units|
|Flex||769/0||BMU||100||161||4||3||Valley Lines||2019-2020[nb 1]|
Train maintenance depotsEdit
KeolisAmey Wales's fleet was stored and maintained at the following depots.
- Cardiff Canton: Class 143, 150, 153, 170 and 769s and locomotive-hauled trains
- Chester (Alstom): Class 175s
- Machynlleth: Class 158s
- Holyhead: Stabling point (refuelling and light maintenance) for locomotive-hauled trains and DMUs
- Crewe Carriage Sidings (Arriva TrainCare): Class 150, Class 153 and Class 158 units, and locomotive-hauled trains. Stabling point and light maintenance.
From June 2019 to March 2020, KeolisAmey Wales hired two Class 37-hauled Mark 2 sets to temporarily operate rush-hour services between Cardiff and Rhymney to add capacity. From January 2020 they were operating under PRM non-compliance dispensation, but were withdrawn in March due to decreasing reliability and replaced with trains formed of multiple Class 153 railcars coupled together, with many more of those in the fleet.
In July 2020, all of KeolisAmey Wales's Mark 3 stock (which had been inherited from Arriva Trains Wales) went off lease and into storage at Long Marston.
|Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Carriages||Number||Routes Operated||Withdrawn||Built|
|Locomotive hauled stock|
|37||Loco||80||129||–||3||Rhymney Line||March 2020||1960–65|
|Driving Van Trailer||Control car||3||1988-1990|
|Diesel multiple units|
- Class 319/4 units were initially built between 1987 and 1988
- "Transport for Wales (AW)". Train Operating Companies. National Rail Enquiries. National Rail. 6 February 2020. Archived from the original on 30 March 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
- Hoppe, Joe (16 September 2019). "Transport for Wales unveil plan to invest in Welsh stations over 15 years". South Wales Argus. Newport: Newsquest. Archived from the original on 18 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020./
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Company number: 11389531
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Darganfod hyd a lled rhwydwaith Trafnidiaeth Cymru. [Find out the full extent of the Transport for Wales network].
- Transport for Wales [@transport_wales] (1 October 2018). "Bydd yr ap TrC Trenau ar gael i'w lawrlwytho maes o lawr ar iOS ac Android. Rydym ni'n gwybod y byddwch angen amser i gael trefn arno, felly bydd yr ap presennol yn dal i weithio tan ddiwedd y flwyddyn. #dechrautaith" [The TfW Rail app will be available for download on iOS and Android. We know you will need time to get it sorted, so the current app will continue to work until the end of the year. #StartingAJourney] (Tweet) (in Welsh). Retrieved 18 February 2020 – via Twitter.
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Four bidders have been selected to progress to the next stage in the procurement process to operate rail services in Wales and the Borders from October 2018 as well take forward key aspects of the next stage of Metro.
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- "Arriva Trains Wales drops out of Welsh rail franchise bid". BBC News. BBC. 30 October 2017. Archived from the original on 15 June 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
The firm that runs most of Wales' rail network has pulled out of the contest to continue running it from 2018. Arriva has said Arriva Trains Wales was "no longer participating in the Wales and Borders competition", adding it had "not been an easy decision".
- "Abellio ends rail bid after Carillion collapse". BBC News. BBC. 23 February 2018. Archived from the original on 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
One of the three remaining bidders for the next Wales and Borders rail franchise has pulled out. Abellio Rail Cymru (ARC) said it had been unable to overcome the collapse of its partner construction company, Carillion. Its exit from the process leaves just MTR and KeolisAmey bidding to run the franchise, which will operate the South Wales Metro.
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- "Wales' rail and metro franchise to be run by Keolis Amey". BBC News. BBC. 23 May 2018. Archived from the original on 23 May 2018. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
A £5bn contract to run Wales' rail service for the next 15 years has been awarded to two European firms, who will run it jointly. France's Keolis and Spanish-owned Amey's bid triumphed over a rival offer from Hong Kong's MTR commuter railways. It will also drive forward the south Wales Metro in Cardiff and the valleys.
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- About Us Transport for Wales Rail
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- "Class 158" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
- "Class 175" (PDF). Transport for Wales. Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 October 2020. Retrieved 4 January 2021.
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- DMU shuffle for East Midlands Railways Illustrated March 2020 page 9
- EMR Class 153s join Welsh fleet Rail issue 919 2 December 2020 page 30
- First Anglian Class 170/2 Turbostar moves to Transport for Wales Rail issue 887 11 September 2019 page 16
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