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Disruption to TfW services this December and January – check before you travel

RAIL passengers are being warned to prepare for disruption across the Wales and Borders network during December and January.  

The National Union of Rail, Maritime, and Transport Workers (RMT) have announced strike action will take place on December 13-14, 16-17 and 24-27, and January 3-4 and 6-7.

This will significantly disrupt the rail network across the whole of Wales, England and Scotland.

Transport for Wales is not involved in the industrial action. However, the industrial action resulting from the dispute between the unions and Network Rail means TfW will be unable to operate rail services on Network Rail infrastructure.

Industrial action

December 13-14, 16-17 and 24-27, and January 3-4 and 6-7 – only services in and around Cardiff will be able to operate

The majority of services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended. As on previous strike days, an hourly service will run between Cardiff and Newport, Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymey.

No other services across the Wales and Borders network will be able to operate on strike days.

On December 15 and January 5, a full timetable will operate but services will start later than normal – night shift signalling shifts will be affected by the strikes, so services can only start when early shift signallers arrive for duty. For more information visit Industrial action | Transport for Wales (tfw.wales)

December 24-27

Services will finish earlier than normal on December 24 and start later on December 27 due to the industrial action. There are no services on December 25 and 26.

Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Transport for Wales Chief Operations Officer, said: “The Christmas and New Year period is traditionally a very busy time for the rail industry and this year with a number of strike days taking place throughout December and January it’s vital passengers check for the latest information before making their journeys.

“We are continuing to advise people to only travel by rail on strike days if they have checked on journey planners first.  Despite not being involved in the strikes, only around 10% of our services will be running and the majority of the Wales and Borders network will have no services at all.”

Other operators – Great Western Railway

GWR will be able to operate to/from Cardiff on December 13/14/16 and January 3/4/6, but not on either Saturday, December 17 or January 7.

Great Western Railway services will not be running on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.

Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 December

Trains between London and South Wales will run but will be diverted between Swindon and Newport – extending journey times by around 25 minutes.

  • An hourly service will operate between London Paddington and Swansea
  • These trains will stop additionally at Patchway
  • Shuttle buses are planned between Patchway and Bristol Parkway

Visit Christmas travel | Great Western Railway (gwr.com) for more information

Planned engineering work

With expected lower numbers of travellers over the Christmas period, TfW is taking the opportunity to deliver major pieces of infrastructure work. The railway line from Cardiff Bay to Pontypridd, Merthyr Tydfil and Treherbert, including the City Line will close to trains between 24 December 2022 – 31 December 2022. Followed closely by a closure of the railway lines between Pontypridd to Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare, this will take place from 2-24 January 2023.

During this time, bus replacement services will be in operation and passengers should check before they travel at www.tfw.wales

Network Rail will be carrying out engineering works between Swansea and Carmarthen between December 24 and 0400 on December 27, when trains are not scheduled to run. Further engineering works between the two locations is planned to take place between December 31 and January 2, with buses replacing trains.

Bus travel

For an overview of festive travel arrangements from public transport operators in Wales visit the Traveline Cymru ‘Christmas & New Year Travel Information’ page or call the Traveline Cymru customer service line on Freephone number 0800 464 0000.

The Traveline Cymru helpline will be available daily over the festive period apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day, operating with reduced hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.

If you travel regularly on the Traws Cymru services, you can view Christmas timetables here: https://traws.cymru/en/christmas-2022-0 

Please remember some bus operators across Wales will be operating on reduced timetables with early finishes on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and on other days over the festive period, with some services closing on Christmas Day and Boxing Day as well as New Year’s Day.

Please plan ahead and check before you travel.