Latest Rail News

15.10.18

KeolisAmey £5bn Wales and Borders Rail service launches today

KeolisAmey has begun operations taking over the Wales and Borders franchise today, with “transformed” services on the way for passengers according to the Welsh transport secretary Ken Skates.

Following the decision to award the £5bn Wales and Borders franchise and South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey in May, Skates said it is an “exciting time for Wales,” and said passengers will enjoy the benefits of the introduction of smart ticketing across the Welsh network, and free travel to under-11s will bring economic improvements to the region.

KeolisAmey will replace services ran by Arriva Trains Wales, who declined to bid for the new contract after 15-years in service.

Currently, KeolisAmey – a partnership between public operator Keolis and infrastructure manager Amey – runs London’s Docklands Light Railway and maintains and operates Greater Manchester’s Metrolink.

Speaking at an earlier event in North Wales, Skates said: “With investment totalling almost £5bn of over the next decade and a half, our network will be transformed. We have committed £800m to deliver new trains across the network, which by 2023 will see 95% of rail journeys made on new trains. A further £194m will be put to improving the passenger experiences at our stations across the Wales and Borders network.

“There is £738m earmarked to modernise the central metro lines, support the next phase of Metro and run more trains every hour. Transport for Wales rail services will offer 600 new jobs and 450 apprenticeships over the 15-year lifespan of the contract. This is an exciting time for Wales, and we wish Transport for Wales every success in bringing about these transformational changes on our behalf.”

Carwyn Jones, first minister, was on Pontypridd Station today to mark the first full day of the new Wales and Borders rail services.

“This is an important moment for rail in Wales – indeed for devolution itself. Led by Transport for Wales with our partners KeolisAmey this will be the very first ‘made in Wales’ rail service, designed and delivered by the Welsh Government

“The opportunity to re-design and re-purpose our railway network in Wales is a once in a generation opportunity and I am confident that by 2033 it can be the best passenger rail service in the UK.

“The chance to develop an integrated transport system that encourages economic growth and better supports our public services is supported across all political parties, and the opportunities to develop Metro systems here in South East Wales, in the North East and around Swansea Bay are drawing attention from across the globe.”

James Price, chief executive, Transport for Wales, added: “Transport for Wales has innovative plans to revolutionise transport across Wales and ambitions to create a rail service that puts customers first. Taking over the running of the Wales and Borders rail service is an important first step on an exciting journey of transformation that will also see the creation of the South Wales Metro.”

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