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Wales Online
Wales Online
Cathy Owen

Major train disruption to hit Wales until April

Disruption on the trains in Wales following a number of fire are set to continue into next month. Maintenance on a fleet of trains run by Transport for Wales had due to be finished more than a week ago, but now train bosses have said it is not likely to be finished until April.

More than 100 services have been affected after three fires on Class 175 trains. On Monday (March 20) buses run instead of trains were being used on Transport for Wales services between Crewe and Knighton, between Fishguard Harbour and Clarbeston Road and between Milford Haven and Swansea due to shortage of trains.

Transport for Wales has said that there has been some delays on getting parts to get the trains back into operation.

Routes affected by the changes are:

  • Newport - Crosskeys – service cancelled (no rail replacement).
  • Chester-Liverpool – service cancelled (Merseyrail ticket acceptance).
  • Conwy Valley Line – service cancelled (rail replacement).
  • Wrexham-Bidston Line – service cancelled with rail replacement buses.
  • Cambrian Coast – early morning Barmouth service cancelled, with rail replacement buses.
  • Core Valley Lines – reduced service on some routes. No services between Pontypridd and Merthyr Tydfil until Monday 3 April due to transformation work for the South Wales Metro.
  • West Wales lines – rail services have resumed.
  • Milford Haven and Fishguard services west of Carmarthen – rail services have resumed.

A spokesperson said: "The safety of our customers and colleagues remains our number one priority, and all necessary checks and repairs must be completed on our Class 175 trains before they are allowed back into service. For some of the trains, additional engine repair work has been found to be required.

"While we have this shortage of rolling stock, we’re moving trains around the network to try to inconvenience the fewest number of customers possible. Additionally we are working hard to source parts internationally to speed up the return of the trains - gradually more will be released into service over the next few weeks but we’re expecting some disruption to continue into April. We’re very sorry for the disruption to customers’ journeys while we work to carry out this essential work.”

Many of the trains waiting for repairs are being held at Holyhead.

On Monday there were also some further cancellations on Transport for Wales between Cardiff Central and Barry Island because of problems with the signals at Cadoxton in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, chief operations officer at TfW, said: "The safety of our customers and colleagues remains our top priority.

"Our Class 175 trains will not be allowed into passenger service again until each train has had its engines checked and repaired, and has passed the relevant safety inspections. This programme of work is happening as we speak, at Chester depot, where these trains are maintained on our behalf by CAF Rail UK.

"An initial supply of materials is available for the repair programme, and further parts are being sourced from overseas to speed up the process. The position will improve each week, and the completion of the repair programme is expected to go into April.

"Whilst this leaves us with a temporary shortage of rolling stock, other fleets are being spread out across the Wales and Borders network, and timetables have been adjusted to try and impact the fewest number of passengers. We’re very sorry for the disruption to customers’ journeys while we carry out this essential work."

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