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Call to plan ahead as major infrastructure upgrades take place on Welsh railways

PASSENGERS on the Wales and Borders network are being urged to plan ahead and check before they travel for the rest of April as significant infrastructure upgrades take place. Transport for Wales (TfW) will be carrying out works on the Core Valley Lines network for the South Wales Metro, resulting in buses replacing rail services on several routes. Passengers are advised to visit TfW’s website for more information on the affected services.

In South Wales, buses will replace trains between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay from Saturday 15 April to 12:30 on Sunday 30 April. Also, Pontypridd and Aberdare will see bus replacements from Sunday 16 April to Friday 12 May. Services between Cardiff Central and Radyr via the City Line will be affected from Monday 17 April to Friday 21 April, and from Monday 24 April to Tuesday 2 May, and Cardiff Central and Radyr via Cathays from Tuesday 25 April to Tuesday 2 May. Buses will replace trains from Radyr to Pontypridd from Tuesday 25 April to Friday 12 May and from Pontypridd to Merthyr Tydfil from Saturday 29 April to Tuesday 2 May. Furthermore, services between Pontypridd and Treherbert will be affected from Saturday 29 April to early 2024.

In North Wales, engineering work will take place on a number of lines over the weekend of Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 April. The North Wales Coast Line will be closed between Rhyl and Bangor, and the Conwy Valley Line will be closed throughout. Replacement buses will be in operation across these routes.

Meanwhile, buses will replace trains between Carmarthen, Milford Haven, and Fishguard Harbour on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April in West Wales.

TfW is continuing to advise customers that those services which are running will continue to be very busy while their ongoing maintenance programme on the Class 175 trains continues. The number of trains available for use has increased, allowing TfW to reinstate services on nearly every route across the Wales and Borders network, including the Borderlands Line between Wrexham and Bidston, services between Chester and Liverpool via Runcorn, and the Conwy Valley Line. However, some services may still be running with reduced capacity, and services between Newport and Crosskeys remain paused.

Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Chief Operations Officer at Transport for Wales, said: “We’d like to thank our customers for their continued patience while the vital transformation work takes place on the Valleys lines and as we continue to work to resolve the issues with our Class 175 trains. Our Class 175 trains have been receiving urgent safety checks and engine repairs, after a number of recent incidents. This has left us with a temporary shortage of rolling stock across the network and has meant we have had to redistribute rolling stock to affect the minimum number of passengers possible. As the rolling stock shortages have eased, we have been able to restore much of our timetabled service. However, some services are still being operated by different trains with less capacity than usual, so we’re continuing to work through the repair programme on the Class 175 trains. As soon as each train is repaired and passes the safety checks, it is brought back into passenger service.”

With these upgrades and repairs, TfW aims to provide a more efficient, reliable, and safer rail network to its passengers. However, the travel disruptions caused by the works may lead to some inconvenience to passengers in the short term, and they are encouraged to check their travel plans before they start their journey.