Arriva Trains Wales
Class 175 Coradia at Cardiff Central in 2009
|Franchise(s)||Wales & Borders|
7 December 2003 –
13 October 2018
|Other region(s)||North West|
|Fleet size||125 units|
3 locomotive hauled sets
|Route km operated||1623.8|
|National Rail abbreviation||AW|
|Parent company||Arriva UK Trains|
Arriva Trains Wales (Welsh: Trenau Arriva Cymru) (ATW) was a British train operating company owned by Arriva UK Trains that operated the Wales & Borders franchise. It ran urban and inter-urban passenger services to all railway stations in Wales, including Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street, Newport, Swansea, Wrexham General and Holyhead, as well as to certain stations in England such as Hereford, Shrewsbury, Chester, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street.
The company began operating in December 2003, taking over from Wales & Borders. Following the introduction of the Railways Act 2005 and Transport (Wales) Act 2006, responsibility for the franchise was held by the devolved Welsh Government. Arriva Trains Wales' franchise expired in October 2018, and the company did not bid to renew, it was succeeded by Transport for Wales.
- 1 History
- 2 Performance
- 3 Welsh-language services
- 4 Services
- 5 Routes
- 6 Stations served
- 7 Depots
- 8 Future franchise
- 9 Notes
- 10 References
- 11 External links
In March 2000, the UK government announced its plans to create a separate Wales & Borders franchise. In October 2001, the two National Express-operated franchises, Valley Lines and Wales & West, were reorganised, after which the new Wales & Borders franchise assumed responsibility for the majority of services in Wales as shown on its map; the services from Birmingham New Street to Chester, Aberystwyth, and Pwllheli operated by Central Trains were also transferred.
On 1 August 2003, the Strategic Rail Authority awarded Arriva the new franchise; the new franchise was for fifteen years, with performance reviews every five years; Arriva Trains Wales took over the services operated by Wales & Borders on 7 December 2003. The next five-yearly review period concluded on 31 March 2013. On 28 September 2003, the services from Birmingham New Street, Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno and Holyhead as well as those between Bidston and Wrexham Central and between Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, operated by First North Western, were transferred to the new Wales & Borders franchise.
As a result of the Railways Act 2005 and the Transport (Wales) Act 2006, responsibility for the franchise was later devolved to the Welsh Government. Accordingly, the Welsh Government worked closely with Arriva Trains Wales to manage and develop the railway network within Wales. Changes included the introduction of direct services between North and South Wales, and the reintroduction of passenger services on previously freight-only portions of the Vale of Glamorgan Line and Ebbw Vale Line.
At its height, ATW operated over a route length of 1691 km, with 253 DMU cars and 22 locomotive-hauled passenger carriages, its busiest Welsh stations were Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street and Newport in South Wales, and Bangor (Gwynedd) and Wrexham General in North Wales.
ATW operated almost all services in Wales, with the exception of:
- Pembroke Dock/Carmarthen/Swansea/Cardiff Central to London Paddington (Great Western Railway)
- Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour or Taunton (Great Western Railway)
- Cardiff Central to Nottingham or Manchester Piccadilly (CrossCountry)
- Holyhead/Bangor/Wrexham General to London Euston (Virgin Trains West Coast)
- various heritage railways
In October 2006, ATW was ranked seventh best (out of 21 companies) with an above average 89.9% of trains 'on time' according to Network Rail statistics. The latest figures released by NR (Network Rail) rate punctuality (Public Performance Measure) at 96.1% for period 7 of the 2013/14 financial year. The MAA (Monthly Annual Average) figure for the 366 days up to 12 October 2013 is currently at 93.9%.
In September 2017, a review on the conditions during a regular peak commute was published by 'Stu's Reviews'; the review was publicised through national news networks such as Wales Online. BBC Wales
The Welsh Language Act 1993 requires all public bodies to provide services to the public through the medium of Welsh as well as English; as a private company and not a public body, Arriva Trains Wales was not legally required to provide service in Welsh, but it did conduct some business in Welsh. All stations previously run by Arriva Trains Wales where the Welsh and English names differed had both names displayed, with a few minor omissions. Arriva did not display Welsh names in the English stations which it managed, such as Chester (Welsh: Caer), Shrewsbury (Welsh: Amwythig), or Hereford (Welsh: Henffordd), but included the Welsh names in its now discontinued printed timetables and other publicity material. There were bilingual signs at Hereford, for example, warning against trespassing on the railway.
Arriva Trains Wales had introduced bilingual display screens and announcements in at least 46 stations.
Typical ATW weekday off-peak service was as follows:
|North Wales Coast Line|
|Cardiff Central to Holyhead||0.5||Newport, Cwmbran, Pontypool & New Inn, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, Gobowen, Chirk, Ruabon, Wrexham General, Chester, Flint, Prestatyn, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno Junction, Bangor, Llanfairpwll, Bodorgan, Ty Croes, Rhosneigr and Valley
0534 from Holyhead and 1716 from Cardiff is Premier Service
|Birmingham International to Holyhead||0.5||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||Class 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||Class 150|
|South Wales - Manchester|
|Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly||0.5||Johnston, Haverfordwest, Clarbeston Road, Clunderwen, Whitland, Carmarthen, Pembrey & Burry Port, Llanelli, Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, Bridgend, Cardiff Central, Newport, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Shrewsbury Whitchurch, Nantwich, Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport||Class 175|
|Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly||0.5||Ferryside, Kidwelly, Pembury & Burry Port, Llanelli, Gowerton, Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot Parkway, Bridgend, Cardiff Central, Newport, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury, Whitchurch, Nantwich, Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport|
|Birmingham International to Aberystwyth||0.5||Birmingham New Street, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Telford Central, Wellington, Shrewsbury, Welshpool, Newtown, Caersws, Machynlleth, Dovey Junction and Borth
Trains run joined to Pwllheli trains Birmingham - Machynlleth
|Birmingham International to Pwllheli||Birmingham New Street, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Wolverhampton, Telford Central, Wellington, Shrewsbury, Welshpool, Newtown, Caersws, Machynlleth, 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 |
Trains run joined to Aberystwyth trains Birmingham - Machynlleth
|Heart of Wales Line|
|Carmarthen to Llandovery||1||Gowerton, Llanelli, Bynea, Llangennech, Pontarddulais, Pantyffynnon, Ammanford, Llandybie, Ffairfach, Llandeilo, Llangadog and Llanwrda||Class 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||Class 150|
|Wrexham Central to Bidston||1||Wrexham General, Gwersyllt, Cefn-y-Bedd, Caergwrle, Hope, Penyffordd, Buckley, Hawarden, Shotton, Hawarden Bridge, Neston, Heswall and Upton||Class 150|
|West Wales Locals|
|Pembroke Dock to Swansea||0.5||Pembroke, Lamphey, Manorbier, Penally, Tenby, Saundersfoot, Kilgetty, Narberth, Whitland, Carmarthen, Pembrey & Burry Port, Llanelli and Gowerton||Class 150, 153, 158, 175|
|Fishguard Harbour||-||irregular service usually calling at Fishguard & Goodwick, Clarbeston Road, Whitland and Carmarthen. Some trains extend to/from east of Carmarthen|
|Swansea to Cardiff Central||0.5||Llansamlet, Skewen, Neath, Briton Ferry, Baglan, Port Talbot Parkway, Pyle and Bridgend||Class 150, 153, 158, 175|
|Maesteg - Cheltenham 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
|Class 150, 153, 158, 175|
|Ebbw Vale Line|
|Cardiff Central to Ebbw Vale Town||1||Pye Corner, Rogerstone, Risca & Pontymister, Cross Keys, Newbridge, Llanhilleth and Ebbw Vale Parkway||Class 150, 153, 158, 175|
|Penarth to Bargoed||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/from Rhymney, calling at Brithdir, Tir-Phil and Pontlottyn
|Class 142, 143, 150, 153|
|Merthyr and Vale 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||Class 142, 143, 150, 153|
|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||Class 142, 143, 150, 153|
|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||Class 142, 143, 150, 153|
|Cardiff Bay to Cardiff Queen Street||5||Class 142, 143, 150, 153|
Services along the North Wales Coast Line terminated at Holyhead and Llandudno. Llandudno services ran every hour to Manchester Piccadilly via Chester and Warrington Bank Quay. Holyhead services ran every hour, to Shrewsbury via Chester and Wrexham General, then alternately to Birmingham International or Cardiff Central. Request stations west of Llandudno Junction (Conwy, Penmaenmawr, Llanfairfechan, Llanfairpwll, Bodorgan, Ty Croes, Rhosneigr and Valley) were generally served by alternate trains; the Conwy Valley Line were operated by a single train running between Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, with six return journeys a day. The private Ffestiniog Railway operated connecting services between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Minffordd near Porthmadog.
Services on the Borderlands Line ran from Wrexham Central to Bidston on the Wirral Peninsula, crossing the North Wales Coast Line at Shotton; this line connected with main-line services at Wrexham General; with North Wales Coast line services at Shotton; and with electrified lines operated by Merseyrail at Bidston. It may be converted to electric operation in the future.
Cambrian Line services consisted of trains from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury, Birmingham New Street and Birmingham International every two hours. Services from Pwllheli joined this train at Machynlleth. Services were operated exclusively by Class 158 Express Sprinters, as they were the only units fitted with the necessary equipment for the ERTMS system used on the line.
The single-track nature of this line, coupled with the busy terminus at Birmingham New Street, meant that delays had in some cases resulted in partial cancellation of services on this line. Beginning December 2008, most services had been extended to the less busy Birmingham International station, giving more flexibility in making up any lost time; this was also intended to help international students at Aberystwyth University gain easier access to an airport; the Heart of Wales Line had services from Swansea to Shrewsbury via Llanelli and Llandrindod four or five times a day. It was marketed by Arriva Trains Wales as a scenic, rural line, with special rover tickets available.
As of February 2017, ATW operated an hourly long-distance service from Carmarthen to Manchester Piccadilly via Cardiff Central and the Welsh Marches Line; some off-peak services terminated at or originated from Cardiff Central, and continued to or came from Milford Haven every two hours. There was also one service per day from Fishguard Harbour to Manchester Piccadilly, but not in the other direction; some services operated to Tenby, Pembroke Dock, Carmarthen and Maesteg from Manchester Piccadilly.
ATW also operated a service every two hours from Cardiff Central to Holyhead via Wrexham General, other branches of the West Wales Line as served by trains from Swansea and Cardiff Central. Trains operated a shuttle service between Swansea and Cardiff Central (known as Swanline), calling at more minor stations than the Great Western Railway InterCity services did.
ATW also operated the Heart of Wales line between Shrewsbury and Swansea via Llandrindod, with four trains per day in each direction. Special trains extending into South East Wales operated to Builth Road during the Royal Welsh Show annually in July.
Cardiff and Valleys
The Valley Lines network, previously operated as a separate franchise, was a collection of urban lines in Cardiff and the surrounding area, including the South Wales Valleys and the Vale of Glamorgan. Arriva Trains Wales also operated a service from Maesteg to Cheltenham Spa. Stations in the valleys north of Cardiff experienced strong passenger growth, as a result of which there was a new half-hourly service launched (Pontypridd-Treherbert, Abercynon-Aberdare, Abercynon-Merthyr Tydfil and in the future Bargoed to Rhymney). Service frequency growth at the fringes was a significant problem because of often lengthy single-track sections. Between the larger towns and Cardiff, these services combined to provide at least one train every 15 minutes, with six trains previously ran per hour between Pontypridd and Cardiff, and four trains per hour between Bargoed and Cardiff. Stations on the Treherbert and Rhymney branch lines were lengthened to accommodate six-car trains to cope with future growth demand for commuting into and out of the capital.
On 6 February 2008, the Ebbw Valley Railway was partially re-opened to passenger services for the first time in over 40 years, it provided an hourly service from Ebbw Vale Town railway station (opened 17 May 2015) to Cardiff Central calling at Ebbw Vale Parkway, Llanhilleth, Newbridge, Crosskeys, Risca and Pontymister, Rogerstone, Pye Corner, and Cardiff Central. One year after opening, the line had carried 573,442 passengers, beating all targets set by the Welsh Assembly Government. Saturday trains ran as four-car formations instead of the standard two. Extra carriages were also added during school holidays when demand was high. Possible developments that never saw the light of day also included restoring the service between Ebbw Vale and Newport; before Arriva discontinued operations, the proposal awaited Network Rail and Welsh Government approval. If it has been implemented, it would have provided an hourly service between Newport and Ebbw Vale. Any further plans will now be implemented under TFW.
In July 2012 the Department for Transport announced that the Cardiff Valley Lines would be electrified, although no timescale has been given; this will entail replacement of the life-expired Pacer railbuses by new or cascaded stock. This project will now become reality under TFW, since Arriva Trains Wales is no longer operating.
Welsh Marches and Border
Services between Chester and Newport form part of other ATW services already mentioned, such as Holyhead to Cardiff Central, or Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly. Coming north, after calling at Shrewsbury (for connections to Mid-Wales), trains for North Wales go to Chester via Wrexham General, and trains for Manchester go to Crewe.
A weekday Premier Service between Holyhead and Cardiff was introduced on 15 December 2008; this was run under contract to the Welsh Government. Wrexham & Shropshire and Grand Central expressed an interest in operating the service, but the contract was awarded to Arriva Trains Wales. At the time of the launch it was known as Y Gerallt Gymro (Gerald of Wales) but it then became known as the Premier Service.
It departed Holyhead at 05:34, returning from Cardiff departing at 17:16, it featured first-class accommodation and a full dining car with a travelling chef. Normal standard-class fares were valid on the train. First class attracted a supplement and included a complementary breakfast on the morning service and a three-course meal on the evening service; this was the only ATW service to offer first-class accommodation.
It originally ran via Crewe but in September 2012 was rerouted via Wrexham General, which required the train to change direction at Chester in addition to having its evening departure moved from 16:15.
In December 2014, the Premier Service was renamed to be the Business Class Service in an attempt by Arriva Trains Wales to make the service more appealing to those travelling to and from Cardiff to work. Ticket prices remained the same and were still sold as first class, and the restaurant service remains although tablecloths and antimacassars were been removed to promote a more work-like environment.
For special events such as football or rugby matches, ATW operated additional services to the venue. Wales & Borders had arranged in the past a stopping service to Edinburgh Waverley. Numerous other services have been operated. ATW usually operates shuttle services to Newport on match days; when rugby international matches are held at the Millennium Stadium, ATW often ran an extra Holyhead to Cardiff service using the Premier Service rolling stock. In April 2015, ATW were highly criticised and issued an apology for their continual poor performance when dealing with the Judgement Day rugby matches at the Millennium Stadium. Passengers were left queuing for hours due to the lack of services and lack of carriages available, some had to abandon their journeys for other means such as taxi and van hire. A spokesman for the company said “I want to assure all customers that every single train in Wales was out [on Saturday].” He added that the event differed to international rugby events, because the majority of those travelling to the matches travelled from south and south west Wales, placing huge pressure on specific routes.
Arriva Trains Wales used to operate services from Manchester Piccadilly, Pembroke Dock, Carmarthen and Swansea to London Waterloo, Brighton, Portsmouth Harbour, Plymouth and Penzance via Cardiff, Bristol and Westbury. Services south of Cardiff are operated by Great Western Railway, while the Bristol Temple Meads to London Waterloo service is run by South Western Railway
ATW applied to reinstate a direct Aberystwyth to London Marylebone service serving all stations to Birmingham International and additionally calling at Leamington Spa and Bicester North. Two off-peak trains would have operated each day, while a further service would have been added on Saturdays in high summer. Rolling stock would have been Class 158 Sprinters.
There were worries that, if ATW were granted this service, it would push Wrexham General to London Marylebone operator Wrexham & Shropshire out of business, with Wrexham & Shropshire Managing Director, Andy Hamilton, saying "We believe that this proposal – if approved – would push the date of profitability of WSMR by at least a year; as a result of this our owning group would be unable to sustain additional and continuing losses and the WSMR service would cease to exist." The application was rejected by the Office of Rail Regulation in March 2010 due to concerns about the financial viability of the service and the potentially high level of revenue abstraction from other operators. Wrexham & Shropshire ceased to operate a year later.
Major stations in Wales
Stations in England
Managed by Arriva Trains Wales
Managed by other companies
- Birmingham International (Virgin Trains)
- Birmingham New Street (Network Rail)
- Crewe (Virgin Trains)
- Earlestown (Northern)
- East Didsbury (Northern)
- Newton-le-Willows (Northern)
- Manchester Airport (TransPennine Express)
- Manchester Piccadilly (Network Rail)
- Manchester Oxford Road (Northern)
- Stockport (Virgin Trains)
- Telford Central (West Midlands Railway)
- Warrington Bank Quay (Virgin Trains)
- Wilmslow (Northern)
- Wolverhampton (West Midlands Railway)
- Stafford (Virgin Trains)
- Bidston (Merseyrail)
- Gloucester (Great Western Railway)
- Cheltenham Spa (Great Western Railway)
Fleet at end of franchise
This section needs to be updated.December 2016)(
Arriva Trains Wales services were operated by diesel trains only, as there were no electrified railway lines in Wales. Arriva Trains Wales operated a fleet of 125 diesel multiple units, it also leased 3 locomotive-haul units for express services between Holyhead and Cardiff, and had occasionally used hired-in locomotives to run extra services for sporting events.
In the early years of the franchise, ATW operated locomotive-hauled services using Mark 2 carriages on services from Cardiff Central to Rhymney and Fishguard Harbour hauled by English Welsh & Scottish Class 37s and FiftyFund Class 50s, and from Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly to Holyhead hauled by Freightliner Class 47s and Virgin Trains Class 57s. ATW built up a fleet of 20 Mark 2 carriages to operate these; all had been withdrawn by 2007, most of them being stored at Long Marston.
ATW received 12 Class 150s cascaded from First ScotRail and another from One in 2004/05. In December 2006 another eight were transferred from First Great Western, notionally to provide stock for the Borderlands Line and Ebbw Valley Railway services. Following the delivery of new stock to First TransPennine Express in 2006, all of the Class 175s became available to ATW, resulting in 16 Class 158s being released for transfer to other operators.
In 2006, heritage unit 121032 was purchased by ATW for use on the Cardiff Bay Shuttle; the unit was overhauled by LNWR, Crewe, entering service with ATW on 17 August 2006. In 2013, the unit suffered an engine failure; this could not be rectified, meaning that the unit was withdrawn. It was then used as a source of spare parts by sister company Chiltern Railways.
In November 2007, another 9 Class 150s were transferred from Central Trains. From February 2008, 5 Class 150s (150278-282) were subleased to Great Western Railway; this was later reduced to 4 and then 2, the last returning in 2011.
In December 2008, the loco-hauled Holyhead to Cardiff Premier Service was inaugurated, it was hauled by Class 57s on hire from Virgin Trains, initially in top-and-tail formation and later singularly, hauling three standard class MK2s and a MK3 first/buffet. 4 Class 57s were repainted at Cardiff Canton and six Mark 2s were refreshed at Eastleigh Works. Class 67s took over from the Class 57s in March 2012, and MK3s refurbished by Pullman Rail from the Mark 2s in October 2012. From October 2011 until August 2012, 150280 was subleased to National Express East Anglia/Abellio Greater Anglia. In December 2014, a further MK3 set was introduced on services from Manchester Piccadilly-Holyhead/Llandudno.
|Class||Image||Type||Top Speed||Number||Routes Operated||Built|
|142 Pacer||DMU||75||121||15||Valley Lines & Cardiff Local Routes||1985–87|
|153 Super Sprinter||8||1987–88|
|158 Express Sprinter||90||140||24||
|175/0 & 175/1 Coradia||DMU||100||161||27||Regional services between North West England, North and South Wales||1999–01|
|1964-1967 (rebuilt 1998-2004)||2012|
Arriva Trains Wales' fleet were stabled at three depots.
- Chester (Alstom): Class 175
- Cardiff Canton: Class 142, Class 143, Class 150, Class 153 and Mark 3 stock.
- Machynlleth: Class 158.
The Invitation to Tender for the next franchise was issued in September 2017 and the contract as awarded in May 2018; the new franchise started in October 2018. In October 2016, Abellio, Arriva, Keolis/Amey and MTR Corporation were shortlisted to bid. Arriva withdrew from the tendering process in October 2017. Abellio followed in February 2018 after its partner Carillion entered liquidation in January.
On 23 May, it was announced that Transport for Wales would run the next Wales & Borders franchise for 15 years after Arriva Trains Wales' franchise expired; the company runs under the name Transport for Wales Rail Services, as the delivery partner of Transport for Wales.
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