New Wales rail franchise - the timetable to 2024

How the new trains will look Image copyright KeolisAmey
Image caption How the new trains will look

The new Wales rail franchise was up and running in October 2018, promising a "groundbreaking transformation of transport across the country".

But how quickly will things change?

Image caption Rebranding of the existing trains for now


  • New brand launch in October, a new app and website (completed) and start of refurbishment of diesel trains
  • All stations will be deep-cleaned. Transport for Wales (TfW) said the first phase one involving 40 stations has been completed, with phase two ongoing.


  • More capacity on Valley lines with additional refurbished trains. An extra five class 153 trains were brought in from May, with a further capacity increase due in December, says TfW.
  • First new ticket machines at stations, and smart ticketing. The first new machines due end of 2019, smart ticketing is on a live trial and compensation and advance fare schemes are running.
  • Refurbished trains for the North Wales Metro, including extra seats and power sockets. New carriages expected for the December timetable change.
  • Pacer trains completely phased out and 12 class 170 trains introduced Class 170s will be introduced in December but pacer trains being kept on for busy routes into 2020. Extra trains to provide space for 6,500 more commuters a week from December.
  • New train assembly starts at factory in Newport. Design approved and project on track, says TfW
  • New services between Liverpool and Chester and additional Sunday services between Wrexham and Bidston, expected in December 2018, are now scheduled for March. TfW said it had introduced 215 services per week between Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool.

When will overcrowding on TfW services end?

Rail boss urges patience after franchise's first year

Image copyright TfW
Image caption How the main rail network looks


  • Start of new fare initiatives, including half price for 12 to 18-year-olds
  • Keolis UK moves UK headquarters to Wales, booking app for passengers who need assistance launched and 22 customer ambassadors will work across the network
  • New station will open at Bow Street in Aberystwyth in March
  • Pay-as-you-go scheme launched for South Wales Metro (rolling out further in 2021)
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Media captionWhat will the new train services in Wales be like where you live?

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  • South Wales Metro's new service from Ebbw Vale to Newport, involving 150 more seats in the morning peak (300 by the end of 2022)
  • First of the new 148 trains arrive for testing and driver training.
  • Free wi-fi for trains and stations, promising "seamless" internet
Image copyright TfW
Image caption A map of how the South Wales Metro will look - and the numbers of trains per hour


  • Introduction of Metro vehicles. Four an hour will serve Aberdare and Merthyr and Treherbert by December
  • The first of the new fleet of trains are rolled out on the Cambrian, Marches and North Wales lines, and the West Midlands corridor
  • New station opens at Crwys Road in Cardiff
  • Seven extra services from Shrewsbury to Aberystwyth, 16 more Cardiff to Cheltenham and two on the Heart of Wales line
  • Passengers will be able to board on the same level as the train across Cardiff and the Valley lines
  • A new Liverpool to Cardiff service via Wrexham General and Shrewsbury
  • From May 2022, six services per hour between Cardiff and Caerphilly
  • From December 2022, four services per hour between Cardiff and Treherbert, four services per hour between Cardiff and Aberdare, and four services per hour between Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil
Image copyright TfW
Image caption A map of how the South Wales Metro will look - and the numbers of trains per hour


  • More Sunday services introduced
  • New tri-mode (diesel/battery/electric) trains to operate from Coryton, Rhymney to Barry Island and Penarth to Bridgend via Cardiff
  • From December 2023 four services per hour between Cardiff and Rhymney, two services per hour between Cardiff and Bridgend via Barry and hourly Sunday services for Aberdare, Merthyr, Maesteg, Coryton and City Line


  • Two per hour services on Sunday between Cardiff and Rhymney, Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr
  • Metro services come to Cardiff City line. The Loudon Square and Cardiff Bay stations open in Cardiff Bay, offering first on-street trams in Cardiff for 70 years
  • First class introduced on Swansea to Manchester service
  • A target of 100% by 2025 for secure station accreditation

Information for 2018 and 2019 updated October 2019; information for 2022 and 2023 updated January 2020

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