Posted: Mon 15th Oct 2018

Updated: Mon 15th Oct

New branding comes to Wrexham – as Arriva Trains Wales leaves the station forever for people living in or visiting the wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Oct 15th, 2018

Sunday marked both the end and dawn of a new era for rail passengers as Arriva Trains Wales ended its services for Wales and Borders passengers, with the new branding locally being the first signs of the new way forward.

The company, which has operated the franchise for 15 years, withdrew its bid to continue running the service in October 2017.

It was announced earlier this year that the contract had been awarded to French company and Spanish-owned KeolisAmey – with Transport For Wales overseeing the operation.

James Price, chief Executive of transport for Wales, says that passengers can expect their rail service to be transformed within just five years.

It is hoped that by 2023 95 per cent of passengers’ journeys will take place on new, higher capacity trains and there will also be 285 extra services every weekday.

“From yesterday, the Transport for Wales brand will start to appear on uniforms, around stations and on trains and posters,” said Mr Price.

“Passengers will be welcomed by the same staff, and travel on the same trains on the same routes and timetables – and, importantly, their existing tickets will all still be valid as before.

“Behind the scenes, lots more positive changes will be starting to happen, and we’ll be keeping passengers informed all the way along.”

A “railmap” of improvements has now been published for customers. “Coming Down the Track” details a raft of transformational improvements by 2025 that include new and improved stations, better services, more carriages, new and completely rebuilt trains, better-value fares, pay-as-you-go travelcards, free wifi, improved accessibility for those with mobility problems at all stations, and new websites and apps to help passengers stay informed and buy tickets easily.

In Wrexham such changes include the planned introduction of new services from May 2019 between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street – with two of these services extended to serve Wrexham.

Other plans include doubling the delivery of a North East Wales Metro with increased frequency to two trains per hour on the Wrexham to Bidston line from December 2021.

Plans also include:

– Frequency of Wrexham to Bidston service doubled by 2022
– Extra services from Wrexham to Cardiff and Liverpool by 2023
– Investment at Wrexham General Shotton stations by 2024
– Extra services from Wrexham to Cardiff and Liverpool by 2023

Mr Price explained that the Transport for Wales team has planned all improvements with the difference a reliable rail service makes to people’s lives as the primary motivation.

Chief executive, James Price (Image: Huw John)

“We know what reliable rail travel actually means to people, and it’s so much more than getting from A to B,” he continued.

“It’s making a job interview in plenty of time, getting home in time to bath the children, or arriving at work well before your shift starts. This contract was awarded on the basis of exactly that – what it will deliver for passengers in Wales and the Borders.

“So this timeline has been developed with the aim of giving people confidence that the train will get them where they need or want to be on time and in comfort, using a value-for-money, reliable, frequent service.

“And not just to get to work or school, but also for days out and trips away – so, for example, we’ll see new fare initiatives for 6 – 18 year olds by 2020, and there will be earlier first trains with 22% more Sunday services across Wales by 2020.

“The improvements we need to get to that point – more, better trains and stations, new and more frequent services, additional capacity – will take some time to deliver.

“Some areas will see significant improvements more quickly – both north and south Wales will see additional services within a year, for example, there will be new services between Chester and Liverpool in the first half of 2019, and we are also extending two of these services to serve Wrexham.

“Added to this, the frequency of the service from Wrexham to Bidston will be doubled by 2022.”

Mr Price added: “We really are putting our money where our mouth is. Rather than the industry standard of 30-minute delay repay, there will be a new commitment to refunds for delays of 15 minutes or more from January 2019.

“That journey starts on Sunday – and we hope the people of Wales and the Borders will join us on it.”

Tweeting over the weekend Arriva Trains Wales tweeted to say: “As the Arriva Trains Wales franchise comes to a close we would like to thank all of our customers.”

Passengers will be able to get more information and buy tickets from Transport for Wales Rail Services’ new customer website /

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