Newport railway station
Newport railway station is the third-busiest station in Wales, situated in Newport city centre. It is 133.5 miles from London Paddington on the British railway network. The station was opened in 1850 by the South Wales Railway Company and was expanded in 1928. A new station building was built in 2010 with four full size platforms, to facilitate new Great Western Railway 10-car Intercity Express Programme trains; the station is managed by Transport for Wales. The main station entrance is located on Queensway, connected by Station Approach to the High Street, with a further entrance adjoined to the National Car Parks site at its rear, reached from Devon Place; as at February 2019, the station is a calling point for services by Transport for Wales, as well as GWR and CrossCountry. 1 train per hour to Manchester Piccadilly via Hereford and Shrewsbury. These services are from Carmarthen, Milford Haven or Cardiff Central, operated by Class 175 Coradia units. 1tph to Carmarthen with a two-hourly extension to Milford Haven via Cardiff Central, Port Talbot Parkway, Swansea and Pembrey and Burry Port.
There is one daily service to Tenby, departing Newport at 1640 and a daily service to Pembroke Dock, departing Newport at 1841. These services are from Manchester Piccadilly, operated by Class 175 Coradia units. 1tp2h to Holyhead via Hereford, Wrexham General, Llandudno Junction and Bangor. These services are from Cardiff Central, operated by Class 175 Coradia units and refurbished Class 158 Express Sprinter units. 1tp2h to Cardiff Central. These services are from Holyhead, operated by Class 175 Coradia units. 1tph to Cheltenham Spa via Severn Tunnel Junction and Gloucester. These services are from Maesteg but come from destinations such as Swansea and Fishguard, operated by Class 150'Sprinter units, Class 158 Express Sprinter units and Class 175 Coradia units. 1tph to Maesteg via Cardiff Central and Bridgend. These services originate from Cheltenham Spa but the 1700 service originates from Holyhead; these operated by Class 150'Sprinter units, Class 158 Express Sprinter units and the daily service from Holyhead is operated by a Class 175 Coradia unit.
In October 2008 the Welsh Government announced the launch of a new faster services between Cardiff and North Wales. The service was first operated by Mark 2 passenger rolling stock; the Premier Service has premier business-class accommodation. In March 2012 the service was upgraded to Class Mark 3 rolling stock. 1tph to Nottingham via Gloucester, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street and Derby. These services are from Cardiff Central, operated by Class 170 Turbostar units. 1tph to Cardiff Central. These services are from Nottingham or Birmingham New Street, operated by Class 170 Turbostar units, although there is one daily service at 20:49 from Manchester Piccadilly operated by a Class 221 SuperVoyager unit. 1tpd to Manchester Piccadilly via Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway, Cheltenham Spa, Birmingham New Street, Stoke-on-Trent and Stockport, operated by a Class 221 SuperVoyager unit. 2tph to London Paddington via Bristol Parkway, Didcot Parkway and Reading. These services are from Cardiff Central or Swansea as well as daily services from Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock, operated by Class 800s.
1tph to Swansea via Cardiff Central, Port Talbot Parkway and Swansea, as well as daily extensions to Carmarthen and Pembroke Dock. These services are from London Paddington, operated by Class 800s. 1tph to Portsmouth Harbour via Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Salisbury, Southampton Central, Cosham and Portsmouth & Southsea. These services are from Cardiff Central, operated by Class 158 Express Sprinter units 1tph to Taunton via Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare; these services are from Cardiff Central, operated by Class 150'Sprinter units, Class 153'Sprinter units. The 11:15 and 16:15 services are operated by Class 158 Express Sprinter units. 2tpd on Sundays to Brighton via Bristol Temple Meads, Bath Spa, Salisbury, Southampton Central, Cosham, Havant, Barnham, Shoreham-by-Sea and Hove. These services are from Cardiff Central, operated by Class 158 Express Sprinter units. Phase Two of the Ebbw Valley Railway project would see the restoration of direct trains between Newport and Ebbw Vale and resurrect the suburban rail link with Rogerstone.
In March 2008 following the success of phase one - direct services between Cardiff Central and Ebbw Vale - the Welsh Government's Minister for Economy and Transport launched a feasibility study into the restoration of direct trains from Newport. Significant works need to be carried out including the re-instatement of a set of points, refurbished track, new signals at the Gaer and Park junctions as well as track extensions between Crosskeys and Llanhilleth; the Welsh Government announced in July 2009 that the relevant works to enable direct trains between Ebbw Vale and Newport would be complete by 2011. After securing the Wales & Borders franchise in 2018, Transport for Wales announced that services will reopen between Newport and Ebbw Vale Parkway by 2021; the current station layout consists of four through-platforms numbered 1 to 4 from the south side. The original broad gauge station had only two 200-foot-long through platforms and a bay platform at the east end of the down platform; the Hillfield railway tunnels to the west of the station were dug under Stow Hill in the 1840s.
On the closure of Dock Street and Mill Street stations to passengers in 1880, High Street station was expanded: The up platform was made into an island
Shrewsbury railway station
Shrewsbury railway station is in Shrewsbury, England. Built in 1848, it was designated a grade II listed building in 1969; the station is 43 miles north west of Birmingham New Street. Many services starting at or passing through the station are bound for Wales. Shrewsbury was the busiest station in Shropshire and 14th busiest in the West Midlands in 2014-15; the station was known as Shrewsbury General and is the only remaining railway station in the town. Shrewsbury railway station was built in October 1848 for the county's first railway — the Shrewsbury to Chester Line; the architect was Thomas Mainwaring Penson of Oswestry. The building is unusual, in that the station was extended between 1899 and 1903 by the construction of a new floor underneath the original station building; the building style was imitation Tudor, complete with carvings of Tudor style heads around the window frames. This was done to match the Tudor building of Shrewsbury School directly opposite; the station's platforms extend over the River Severn.
It was operated jointly by the London and North Western Railway. At Shrewsbury in steam days, the GWR turned its locomotives by running round the triangle formed by using the Abbey Foregate loop, which links the Wolverhampton Line with the Welsh Marches Line and enables through running for freight trains, summer Saturday specials and for trains like the Cambrian Coast Express; until 1967 Shrewsbury was served by the GWR, latterly BR Western Region, express services between London Paddington and Birkenhead Woodside railway station. The station was given Grade II listed status in May 1969. On Platform Three is a metal plaque listing 42 employees of the London and North Western and Great Western Joint Railways who died serving in the armed forces in'the Great War', with figures of a soldier and sailor and representations of a cannon and steamship, it was restored and rededicated in 2010. Inside the Railtrack offices is a decorative metal plaque to 14 "heroes" of the LNWR's Locomotive Department in Shrewsbury who died serving in World War I, placed there in December 1920.
Preserved is a framed Roll of Honour listing employees of the GWR nationally who died in the war. On 15 October 1907, a mail train hauled by Experiment class locomotive No. 2052 Stephenson was derailed at Shrewsbury due to excessive speed on a curve. Eighteen people were killed. Arwel Hughes composed Tydi a roddaist in 20 minutes during a wait between train connections in 1938. A plaque to mark this was unveiled on Platform Three in 2004. On 6 November 2017, an Arriva Train Wales Class 175 DMU, numbered 175109, caught fire at the morning; this caused the station to be evacuated for two hours. There were no fatalities. There are five platforms in use, numbered 3 to 7. Of these, platforms 4, 5, 6 and 7 are grouped on a main island, while platforms 1, 2 and 3 are separate, located by the main station building; the platforms are numbered in order from west to east from 1 to 7. Platform 3 was until only used by trains running in from the Wolverhampton direction and out towards Chester. Changes made to the signalling and track now allow additional passenger trains to use platform 3.
A passenger lift was opened on a waiting room opened shortly after. A lift has been built for access to platforms 4-7, making the station accessible for wheelchair and mobility-impaired users. Platforms 4 and 7 are through platforms used for trains between Holyhead and Cardiff Central/Birmingham International and between Manchester Piccadilly and Cardiff Central and Milford Haven. Platforms 5 and 6 are bay platforms, used for trains to and from Aberystwyth and Birmingham, as well as trains for the Heart of Wales Line and local stopping trains to Birmingham New Street; the island platforms are connected to the main station building and platform 3 by a pedestrian subway running underneath the station. A pedestrian footbridge over the platforms still exists but has long been disconnected from the station. All platforms are fitted with CIS screens and automatic announcement speakers and there are customer help points on platforms 3 and 4. Ticket gates are in operation. Ticket machines are available for collecting pre-paid tickets.
A buffet and vending machines selling snacks and drinks are sited between platforms 4 & 7. Opposite platform 7 is a high concrete wall that divides the rest of the station from what could be considered to be platform 8; this platform does not see any use and was built for the use of transporting prisoners from the local prison in The Dana. It is believed that this platform was only used on several times a year between 1868 up until just before the First World War. Alternate hourly service from Holyhead via Chester and Wrexham General to Birmingham
Barry Island is a district and seaside resort, forming part of the town of Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. It is named after the 6th century Saint Baruc. Barry's stretch of coast, on the Bristol Channel, has the world's second highest tidal range of 15 metres, second only to Bay of Fundy in Eastern Canada; the peninsula was an island until the 1880s when it was linked to the mainland as the town of Barry expanded. This was due to the opening of Barry Docks by the Barry Railway Company. Established by David Davies, the docks now link up the gap. Although Barry Island used to be home to a Butlins Holiday Camp, it is now known more for its beach and Barry Island Pleasure Park, it was used as a setting of the BBC TV show Stacey. The area around Barry Island shows extensive evidence of human occupation. Mesolithic or Middle Stone Age microlith flint tools have been found at Friars Point on Barry Island and near Wenvoe, Neolithic or New Stone Age polished stone axe-heads were discovered in St. Andrews Major.
As the area was wooded and movement would have been restricted, it is that people came to what was to become Wales by boat from the Iberian Peninsula. They cleared the forests to cultivate the land; these neolithic colonists, who integrated with the indigenous people changed from being hunter-gatherers to settled farmers. They built the long barrows at St Lythans and Tinkinswood, which date to around 6,000 BP, only 3 miles and 4 miles to the north of Barry Island, respectively. In common with the people living all over Great Britain, over the following centuries the local population assimilated immigrants and exchanged ideas of the Bronze Age and Iron Age Celtic cultures. Together with much of South Wales, Barry Island was settled by a Celtic British tribe called the Silures. There have been cairns, recorded on Friars Point. Although the Roman occupation left no physical impression on Barry Island, there were Romano-British settlements nearby in Barry and Llandough; these people embraced the Roman religion of Christianity and dedicated a chapel to St Baruc, a disciple of St Cadoc.
Having forgotten to bring St Cadoc's reading matter with him, on a journey from the island of Flat Holm, St Baruc was sent back and he drowned in the Bristol Channel on the return journey. He was buried on Barry Island and the ruins of the chapel, dedicated to him can still be seen in Friars Road, his feast day is on 27 September. The Vikings launched raids in the area and Barry Island was known to be a raider base in 1087; the Norman/Welsh chronicler Father Gerallt Gymro described the origin of his family name in his The Itinerary of Archbishop Baldwin through Wales. Gerallt Gymro known in French: Gerald de Barri, Latin: Giraldus Cambrensis and Gerald of Wales, wrote "Not far from Caerdyf is a small island situated near the shore of the Severn, called Barri, from St. Baroc, who lived there, whose remains are deposited in a chapel overgrown with ivy, having been transferred to a coffin. From hence a noble family, of the maritime parts of South Wales, who owned this island and the adjoining estates, received the name of de Barri."
Going on to describe the island's well, he wrote: "It is remarkable that, in a rock near the entrance of the island, there is a small cavity, to which, if the ear is applied, a noise is heard like that of smiths at work, the blowing of bellows, strokes of hammers, grinding of tools, roaring of furnaces. Many locals believe it instead to be the ghost of a local hero they call Benedict y Diffoddwr or in English'Benedict the Fighter', it is said that when his ship, the Tam Lyn, was overrun by pirating Spaniards he single-handedly fought and killed the entire body of pirates after they had slaughtered his entire crew. He managed to sail his ship back to port on his own where he was heralded as a hero, they say after many other voyages during which it is rumoured he fought off many other pirates, he died when he was caught in a great storm on the coast, during which his ship was irreparably damaged and sank to the bottom of the ocean. The locals who believe the legend of Benedict claim that their defender still lingers in the rocky areas on the South coast, protecting the inhabitants from foreign invaders.
" The 1908 Everyman edition contains a brief description of Barry Island by the Benedictine monk Hugh Paulinus de Cressy: "Barri Island is situated on the coast of Glamorganshire. The Barrys in Ireland, as well as the family of Giraldus, who were lords of it, are said to have derived their names from this island. John Leland, in speaking of this island, says,'The passage into Barrey isle at ful se is a flite shot over, as much as the Tamise is above the bridge. At low water, there is a broken causey to go over, or els over the shalow streamelet of Barrey-brook on the sands; the isle is about a mile in cumpace, hath good corne and sum wood. There ys no dwelling in the isle, but there is in the middle of it a fair little chapel of St Barrok, where much pilgrimage was usid.'" Ernest Rhys, the Editor, adds in 1908: "The'fair little chapel' has disappeared, and'Barry Island' is now, since the construction of the great dock, connected with the mainland, it is covered with houses, a
Passenger rail franchising in Great Britain
Passenger rail franchising in Great Britain is the system of contracting out the operation of the passenger services on the railways of Great Britain to private companies through a system of franchising. The system was created in the 1990s as part of the privatisation of British Rail, the former state owned railway operator, involves franchises being awarded by the government to train operating companies through a process of competitive tendering. Franchises last for a minimum of seven years and cover a defined geographic area or service type. Over the years, the system has evolved, most notably reducing the initial total of 25 franchises down to 17 through a series of mergers, but it still continues to be the main form of passenger rail service provision in terms of route miles. A limited number of urban services are run, but are awarded by the local authority; the system only covers the railways of Great Britain. Railway franchises are decided by the UK Government's Department for Transport, who design the boundaries and terms of service, award contracts to the train operating companies.
Prior to formally tendering a specific franchise, the DfT publishes a Prior Information Notice outlining the basic details, opens a consultation with relevant transport authorities, devolved administrations and the Transport Focus watchdog. At the end of this process, a formal Invitation To Tender setting out the detailed terms of the proposed franchise agreement is sent to the three to five prospective bidders who have been identified as pre-qualified. ITT's may include a range of variations for consideration by the prospective bidder, who may submit variations themselves; the franchise is awarded to the bid, deemed most viable, which offers the best value and reliability. If relevant, bidders' past performance is considered. Performance is monitored throughout the contract period. In contrast to earlier bail-outs, following the 2004 changes in approach to cost/revenue risk, unless there are exceptional circumstances, the DfT's policy toward failing franchises is to not rescue them with further financial assistance.
Instead, DfT will hold them to the agreement and terminate the franchise early, run the franchise directly as an operator of last resort, pending a re-tendering. Agreements contain a cross-default clause, which allows other franchises held by the company or an affiliate to be terminated. Rail franchise holders in Great Britain accept commercial risk, although there are clauses in newer franchises which offer some compensation for lower-than-expected revenue; the main costs incurred by franchisees are track access charges. Franchisees pay for light maintenance of stock, with heavy work being done as part of the ROSCO lease; the main revenue stream is from the franchise subsidy in cases where there is a shortfall. In addition, franchisees are allowed to directly sub-let commercial units in leased stations. A small number of urban railway systems are not franchised but are contracted out as a concession instead. Concession holders are paid a fee to run the service, tightly specified by the awarding authority.
They do not take commercial risk, although there are penalties and rewards specified in the contract for large variations in performance. Examples In addition to franchises and concessions, an open-access operator is a train operating company, not subject to franchising, but instead purchases individual slots on the mainline from a railway infrastructure company; these include Grand Central, Heathrow Express and Hull Trains. Prior to privatisation, the passenger services of British rail were organised into three units: InterCity for long distance express services Network SouthEast for the commuter services from South East England into the various London termini Regional Railways for services in all other areasThey underwent further reorganisation in preparation for franchising, being split up into 25 train operating units or that were incorporated as separate, shadow businesses operating as'shadow franchises' that negotiated contracts individually with regulators, Railtrack and ROSCOs before being sold off in 1996 and 1997.
The franchising system was created by the Railways Act 1993 as part of the privatisation of British Rail by the Government of John Major, the first franchises came into effect in 1996. Prior to this, the railway system had been owned and operated by the government-owned corporation British Rail, which has since been wound up. Prime Minister John Major envisaged splitting up the railways and returning ownership to an equivalent of the Big Four railway companies that had existed before the creation of British Rail; the Treasury advocated an alternative plan put forward by the Adam Smith Institute which separated railway infrastructure from train service operation and contracted out passenger services to seven-year franchises. This scheme formed the basis of the system, implemented, which saw the creation of 25 shadow franchises, to be sold off in a process managed by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising, which specified service levels and public subsidies that were to be paid to op
Slate is a fine-grained, homogeneous metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low-grade regional metamorphism. It is the finest grained foliated metamorphic rock. Foliation may not correspond to the original sedimentary layering, but instead is in planes perpendicular to the direction of metamorphic compression; the foliation in slate is called "slaty cleavage". It is caused by strong compression causing fine grained clay flakes to regrow in planes perpendicular to the compression; when expertly "cut" by striking parallel to the foliation, with a specialized tool in the quarry, many slates will display a property called fissility, forming smooth flat sheets of stone which have long been used for roofing, floor tiles, other purposes. Slate is grey in color when seen, en masse, covering roofs. However, slate occurs in a variety of colors from a single locality. Slate is not to schist; the word "slate" is used for certain types of object made from slate rock.
It may mean a writing slate. They were traditionally a small, smooth piece of the rock framed in wood, used with chalk as a notepad or noticeboard, for recording charges in pubs and inns; the phrases "clean slate" and "blank slate" come from this usage. Before the mid-19th century, the terms slate and schist were not distinguished. In the context of underground coal mining in the United States, the term slate was used to refer to shale well into the 20th century. For example, roof slate referred to shale above a coal seam, draw slate referred to shale that fell from the mine roof as the coal was removed. Slate is composed of the minerals quartz and muscovite or illite along with biotite, chlorite and pyrite and, less apatite, kaolinite, tourmaline, or zircon as well as feldspar; as in the purple slates of North Wales, ferrous reduction spheres form around iron nuclei, leaving a light green spotted texture. These spheres are sometimes deformed by a subsequent applied stress field to ovoids, which appear as ellipses when viewed on a cleavage plane of the specimen.
Slate can be made into roofing slates, a type of roof shingle, or more a type of roof tile, which are installed by a slater. Slate has two lines of breakability – cleavage and grain – which make it possible to split the stone into thin sheets; when broken, slate retains a natural appearance while remaining flat and easy to stack. A "slate boom" occurred in Europe from the 1870s until the first world war, allowed by the use of the steam engine in manufacturing slate tiles and improvements in road and waterway transportation systems. Slate is suitable as a roofing material as it has an low water absorption index of less than 0.4%, making the material waterproof. In fact, this natural slate, which requires only minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy of all roofing materials. Natural slate is used by building professionals as a result of its durability. Slate is durable and can last several hundred years with little or no maintenance, its low water absorption makes it resistant to frost damage and breakage due to freezing.
Natural slate is fire resistant and energy efficient. Slate roof tiles are fixed either with nails, or with hooks as is common with Spanish slate. In the UK, fixing is with double nails onto timber battens or nailed directly onto timber sarking boards. Nails were traditionally of copper, although there are modern alloy and stainless steel alternatives. Both these methods, if used properly, provide a long-lasting weathertight roof with a lifespan of around 80–100 years; some mainland European slate suppliers suggest that using hook fixing means that: Areas of weakness on the tile are fewer since no holes have to be drilled Roofing features such as valleys and domes are easier to create since narrow tiles can be used Hook fixing is suitable in regions subject to severe weather conditions, since there is greater resistance to wind uplift, as the lower edge of the slate is secured. The metal hooks are, however and may be unsuitable for historic properties. Slate tiles are used for interior and exterior flooring, stairs and wall cladding.
Tiles are grouted along the edges. Chemical sealants are used on tiles to improve durability and appearance, increase stain resistance, reduce efflorescence, increase or reduce surface smoothness. Tiles are sold gauged, meaning that the back surface is ground for ease of installation. Slate flooring can be slippery. Slate tiles were used in 19th century UK building construction and in slate quarrying areas such as Blaenau Ffestiniog and Bethesda, Wales there are still many buildings wholly constructed of slate. Slates can be set into walls to provide a rudimentary damp-proof membrane. Small offcuts are used as shims to level floor joists. In areas where slate is plentiful it is used in pieces of various sizes for building walls and hedges, sometimes combined with other kinds of stone. In modern homes slate is used as table coasters; because it is a good electrical insulator and fireproof, it was used to construct early-20th-century electric switchboards and relay controls for large electric motors.
Fine slate can be used as a whe
Transport for Wales Rail Services
Keolis Amey Operations, trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services, or TfW Rail, is a Welsh train operating company operated by Keolis Amey Wales Cymru Limited, which commenced operating the Wales & Borders franchise on 14 October 2018. Alongside CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Chiltern Railways, TfW is one of the few franchised train operating companies not to operate any electric powered trains. In October 2016 Abellio, the incumbent operator Arriva, a Keolis/Amey joint venture and MTR Corporation were shortlisted to bid for the next Wales & Borders 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 Keolis Amey Wales Cymru, it runs for 15 years. Unlike the previous franchise, awarded by the Department for Transport, the new franchise was awarded by Transport for Wales, on behalf of the Welsh Government. Typical TfW weekday off-peak service is as follows: There are plans to improve services between 2018 and 2033 as part of the new franchise:North Wales and North West England Introduction of a new hourly Liverpool Lime Street to Chester service from May 2019, with limited services extended to Wrexham General Introduce Class 230 D-Trains on services on the Borderlands, Conwy Valley and Crewe-Chester lines during 2019 Twelve refurbished Mark 4 carriages for the Holyhead to Cardiff Central Premier Service by the end of 2019, to replace the Mark 3 carriages Increase Wrexham Central to Bidston services to 2tph by December 2021, as part of the North Wales Metro Introduction of a new hourly Liverpool to Llandudno and Shrewsbury service, a new two-hourly Liverpool to Cardiff Central service from December 2022 Introduction of a direct Manchester Airport to Bangor service from December 2022 Introduce the new fleet of Civity diesel multiple units to the North Wales Coast line and other North Wales routes during 2022 Invest in Shotton and Wrexham General stations from April 2024, in Chester station by 2028 Invest to co-fund new station buildings at Blaenau Ffestiniog Introduce new Community Rail Partnerships on the North Wales Coast Line and the Crewe to Hereford lineSouth West and Mid Wales and the Borders Open a new station at Bow Street in March 2020 An additional service every day on the Heart of Wales line from December 2022 A consistent 1 tph on the Cambrian line from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth from December 2022 New Civity DMUs on the Cambrian line during 2022, to replace the Class 158 Express Sprinters Refurbished Class 170 Turbostar two-car DMUs on services to West Wales, Ebbw Vale and Maesteg from 2019, the Heart of Wales line from 2022, to replace Class 153 Super Sprinters Introduce new two and three-car new diesel multiple units for the Milford Haven to Manchester Piccadilly service by 2023, to replace the Class 175 Coradias Additional summer Sunday services from May 2023 between Tywyn and Pwllheli – including a new 1 tph express service between major centres by 2025 Invest in Carmarthen and Machynlleth stations in 2021, Llanelli station in 2025 A first-class service between Swansea and Manchester from December 2024 Introduce a new Community Rail Partnership for the West Wales lineSouth East Wales Provide ticket machines at all South Wales Metro stations by April 2019 Introduce Class 769 Flex bi-mode multiple units to the Valley Lines during 2019 Replace all Class 142 and 143 Pacers by the end of 2019 4tph between Cardiff Central and Bridgend from December 2019 Introduce pay-as-you-go for users of smartcards by April 2020 Increasing capacity of trains on early morning services to Cardiff Central from 2-car services to 4-car services A new 1 train per hour Ebbw Vale Town to Newport service from May 2021 4tph between Treherbert, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff from December 2022, operated by Citylink tram-trains 6tph between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay from December 2022 Hourly Cheltenham Spa to Cardiff Central services from December 2022 Introduce new FLIRT diesel-electric multiple units on the Ebbw Vale and Maesteg lines during 2022 Introduce new FLIRT tri-mode multiple units between Penarth and Bridgend to Rhymney and Coryton during 2023 2tph between Cardiff and Bridgend via the Vale of Glamorgan Line from December 2023 4tph throughout on the Rhymney line from December 2023 Introduce Citylink tram-trains to the City Line during 2023 Eliminate diesel use on the Central Metro lines by 2024 Open new stations at Cardiff Parkway in February 2020, Crwys Road, Loudoun Square and Cardiff Bay by December 2023, Treforest Estate by December 2025, Gabalfa by 2028 Invest in Merthyr Tydfil from April 2020, Abergavenny from April 2023, Cardiff Central and Chepstow from April 2025 Develop a fleet maintenance depot at Taffs Well and a dedicated Infrastructure Management depot in the Valleys Build a Major Events Stabling Line and a new station in Llanwern TfW Rail inherited a fleet of Class 142, 143, 150, 153, 158 and 175 diesel multiple units and Mark 3 carriages from Arriva Trains Wales.
In April 2019 it added 5 153s acquired from Great Western Railway to the 8 it had. As of April 2019, all of TfW Rail's Class 142 & 143 Pacer railbus DMUs, which will be withdrawn and replaced by 2020, have had advertising vinyls applied, with the messages "The Start of a New Journey", "The Journey is Almost Over for Old Trains", "These Trains will Terminate Soon", stating rolling stock and service improvements; the Mark 3 carriages for the locomotive-hauled trains have had Transport for Wales logos applied to the ex-Arriva Trains Wales livery, as t
Geography of Wales
Wales is a country, part of the United Kingdom and is part of the island of Great Britain and offshore islands. It is bordered by England to its east, the Irish Sea to its north and west, the Bristol Channel to its south, it has a total area of 2,064,100 hectares and is about 170 mi from north to south and at least 60 mi wide. It has a number of offshore islands, by far the largest of, Anglesey; the mainland coastline, including Anglesey, is about 1,680 mi in length. As of 2014, Wales had a population of about 3,092,000. Wales has a complex geological history which has left it a mountainous country; the coastal plain is narrow in the north and west of the country but wider in the south, where the Vale of Glamorgan has some of the best agricultural land. Exploitation of the South Wales Coalfield during the Industrial Revolution resulted in the development of an urban economy in the South Wales Valleys, the expansion of the port cities of Newport and Swansea for the export of coal; the smaller North Wales Coalfield was developed at this time, but elsewhere in the country, the landscape is rural and communities are small, the economy being dependent on agriculture and tourism.
The climate is influenced by the proximity of the country to the Atlantic Ocean and the prevailing westerly winds. Wales is located on the western side of central southern Great Britain. To the north and west is the Irish Sea, to the south is the Bristol Channel; the English counties of Cheshire, Shropshire and Gloucestershire lie to the east. Much of the border with England follows the line of the ancient earthwork known as Offa's Dyke; the large island of Anglesey lies off the northwest coast, separated from mainland Wales by the Menai Strait, there are a number of smaller islands. Most of Wales is mountainous. Snowdonia in the northwest has the highest mountains, with Snowdon at 1,085 m being the highest peak. To the south of the main range lie the Arenig Group, Cadair Idris and the Berwyn Mountains. In the northeast of Wales, between the Clwyd Valley and the Dee Estuary, lies the Clwydian Range; the 14 peaks over 3,000 feet, all in Snowdonia, are known collectively as the Welsh 3000s. The Cambrian Mountains run from northeast to southwest and occupy most of the central part of the country.
These are undulating, clad in moorland and rough, tussocky grassland. In the south of the country are the Brecon Beacons in central Powys, the Black Mountains spread across parts of Powys and Monmouthshire in southeast Wales and, Black Mountain, which lies further west on the border between Carmarthenshire and Powys; the Welsh lowland zone consists of the north coastal plain, the island of Anglesey, part of the Llŷn Peninsula, a narrow strip of coast along Cardigan Bay, much of Pembrokeshire and southern Carmarthenshire, the Gower Peninsula and the Vale of Glamorgan. The main rivers are the River Dee, part of which forms the boundary between Wales and England, the River Clwyd and the River Conwy, which all flow northwards into Liverpool Bay and the Irish Sea. Further round the coast, the Rivers Mawddach, Rheidol and Teifi flow westwards into Cardigan Bay, the rivers Towy, Taff and Wye flow southwards into the Bristol Channel. Parts of the River Severn form the boundary between England; the length of the coast of mainland Wales is about 1,370 mi, adding to this the coasts of the Isle of Anglesey and Holy Island, the total is about 1,680 mi.
Cardigan Bay is the largest bay in the country and Bala Lake the largest lake at 4.7 km2. Other large lakes include Llyn Trawsfynydd at 1.8 sq mi, Lake Vyrnwy at 1.7 sq mi, Llyn Brenig at 1.4 sq mi, Llyn Celyn at 1.2 sq mi and Llyn Alaw at 1.2 sq mi. Bala Lake lies in a glacial valley blocked by a terminal moraine, but the other lakes are reservoirs created by impounding rivers, to provide drinking water, hydroelectric schemes or flood defences, many are used recreationally; the geology of Wales is complex and varied. The earliest outcropping rocks are from the Precambrian era, some 700 Mya, are found in Anglesey, the Llŷn peninsula, southwestern Pembrokeshire and in places near the English border. During the Lower Palaeozoic, as seas periodically flooded the land and retreated again, thousands of metres of sedimentary and volcanic rocks accumulated in a marine basin known as the Welsh Basin. During the early and middle Ordovician period, volcanic activity increased. One large volcanic system, centred around what is now Snowdon, emitted an estimated 60 cubic kilometres of debris.
Another volcano formed Rhobell Fawr near Dolgellau. During this period, great accumulations of sand and mud were deposited further south in Wales, these consolidated; some of the volcanic ash fell in the sea and formed great banks, where unstable masses sometimes slid into deeper water, creating submarine avalanches. This caused great turbidity in the sea, after which the particles began to settle out according to particle size; the strata thus formed are called turbidites, these are common in central Wales, being obvious in the sea cliffs around Aberystwyth. By the beginning of the Devonian period the sea was retreating from the Welsh Basin as the land was thrust up by the collision of land masses, forming a new range of mountains, the Welsh Caledonides; the strata were compresse