As it continues to aim to improve rail services within Wales, Transport for Wales (TfW) has introduced a newly-improved service between Cardiff and Holyhead, providing greater capacity and utilising fully-refurbished intercity carriages.
The improvements will help boost the essential transport links between north and south Wales.
The first of the new services left Holyhead early on June 7, 2021, arriving in Cardiff around two and a half hours later.
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.”
Alongside the current, newly-refurbished services, TfW have announced the successful purchase of a further 30 fully-refurbished Mark 4 intercity carriages.
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.
Funding from the Welsh Government helped TfW purchase the new carriages.
James Price, CEO of Transport for Wales, added: “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.”