However, the running of the longer trains is dependent on sufficient trains being available across the network. Although there are enormous benefits to operating four-car trains on the Cambrian Line, it will not be at the expense of services on other lines.
As well as providing a better service for passengers and train crew, the additional carriages will also contribute to the local economy by boosting trade and tourism and revenue from ticket sales for the railway company.
The extra space on the longer trains will enable passengers to enjoy onboard catering for the first time in a decade.
To make the improved service possible, a number of changes have been carried out in recent months, including:
- Improving and lengthening the platform and installing tactile paving at Barmouth station;
- Installing 22 four-car-train markers at stations across the Cambrian Line that inform drivers where to stop so that train doors are in the correct place on shorter platforms;
- Redistributing trains and staff and revised working methods for drivers and conductors;
- Site visits with the level-crossing team;
- Full engagement with trade union partners;
- Updated fleet maintenance plans.
The Cambrian Railway Partnership has also launched a bilingual Cambrian Line Window Seater audio guide which enables passengers to find out which landmark they have passed or discover more about the geography, history, and culture of the area. The guide is available as a free download from the Window Seater App on most app stores.
Gwyn Rees, performance and transformation director at Network Rail Wales & Borders, said: I m proud of the collaboration, thanks to our Local Railways Partnership, as we operate a four-car-train service on the Cambrian Line for the first time in many years.
This has doubled capacity on the busiest service during the school holidays and will make journeys for passengers and train crew much more comfortable and enjoyable.
We are determined to continue to work with our industry partners to provide a railway service that our passengers and customers expect and deserve.
Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, chief operations officer for Transport for Wales, commented: The restoration of four-car-trains on the Cambrian Coast is one of the achievements of our Local Railways Partnership on the route, where the local Network Rail and TfW teams, with support from industry partners, are working together on service delivery initiatives specifically for this line.
With a number of short platforms, some with level crossings next to them, the teams have worked collaboratively to make sure longer trains can safely call at these stations along what is a beautifully scenic route.
Claire Williams, partnership development officer for the Cambrian Railway Partnership, added: It is brilliant to see this boost in capacity and comfort for our passengers and the local community.
We appreciate the commitment and hard work made by Network Rail and Transport for Wales in developing the line to re-introduce four carriage services.
Passengers can further enjoy their journey with the launch of our first-ever bilingual Cambrian Line Window Seater audio guide, discovering the stories behind the view from their train seat.