Transport for Wales has introduced its fleet of Mark 4 coaches on services between Cardiff and Holyhead this morning, with the ex-LNER coaches providing better capacity for passengers.
The first train left Holyhead at 5:34 and will arrive in Cardiff at 09:57, providing an essential link between North and South Wales.
Transport for Wales has also confirmed to RailAdvent that they have purchased 30 Mark 4 coaches that were destined to be used with Grand Central on Blackpool to London Euston services before this project was scrapped. These will be refurbished and will be used on the Swansea to Manchester route from December 2022.
The Ex-Grand Central coaches will have first-class carriages, free WiFi, an enhanced food offering, accessible toilets and baby changing. They have been purchased thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.
Both the Ex-LNER coaches and DVT, along with Ex-Grand Central coaches and DVTs will be operated using DB Cargo UK Class 67 locomotives
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.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “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.”
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