On 15th October 2018, Transport for Wales took over the operation of Wales and Borders. Branded as Transport for Wales Rail Services, the 15-year contract will be delivered by KeolisAmey
The Welsh Government is responsible for the management of the new franchise.
The Wales and Borders franchise covers most rail services in Wales, the new franchise will invest £738 million to transform the valley lines to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Coryton, electrifying 107 miles of track and upgrading infrastructure to enable improved journey times and more trains every hour.
From 2023, an £800 million investment will ensure that 95 per cent of journeys are on new trains. More than half the trains will be assembled in Wales. By December 2023, KeolisAmey is going to run an extra 285 (29 per cent) more services every weekday, including improvements on the Ebbw Vale, Cambrian and Heart of Wales lines and the North Wales Metro (Wrexham-Bidston). A new service will link Cardiff and Liverpool via Wrexham.
Free end-to-end internet access will be available on 85 per cent of journeys by 2024.
Stations and ticketing
KeolisAmey is also investing £194 million in station improvements and building at least five new stations. At least 1,500 new car parking spaces will be created and a new £15 million fund will make stations more accessible and a new app allowing customers requiring assistance to ‘turn up and go’ will be introduced from April 2020.
Stations and overhead wires will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, with at least 50 per cent sourced in Wales.
The availability and quality of ticketing facilities will be transformed by 2023 and Delay Repay will be introduced for delays of above 15 minutes from January 2019. More than 700 new customer information screens will be installed across the network and in other locations including colleges, hospitals and workplaces.
To support an integrated network, KeolisAmey are ensuring that there is appropriate signage at all stations to promote onward travel by public transport and it will also fund and support all staff who want to learn Welsh.
These improvements are part of a series of investments from a range of sources, including the Welsh Government, totalling £1.9bn that will be made over the 15-year contract period to bring about a transformation in rail travel for people and communities the length and breadth of Wales and its borders.
CEO of Keolis UK: Alistair Gordon,
Amey’s Chief Executive: Andy Milner,
Managing Director of Consulting & Rail at Amey: Nicola Hindle