Carolyn boarding a Transport for Wales train
Carolyn boarding a Transport for Wales train

Timetable changes that came into effect last month (December 11th) are noted online here:

Wales and UK Train Timetables | TfW

There weren’t any additional services introduced in North Wales/Borders at this timetable change, but in December 2022, Transport for Wales (TfW) did commence the introduction of further Mark 4s as well as our brand-new 197s (we started running 197s on Chester-Liverpool late last year and on Manchester-Llandudno just last week).  TfW are now up to 3 x Mark 4 sets in service, including our first Mark 4 services to/from Manchester.

They are introducing further Mark 4 sets over the next few weeks to an eventual total of 6 in service per day, and we’ll also be extending all sets to five carriages over the course of this year.

The Mark 4s will be running on both the Cardiff-Holyhead and Swansea/Cardiff-Manchester services once they are fully rolled out. At the moment, the focus is on getting them on the Cardiff-Holyhead services in the first instance. TfW also plan to run them on Saturdays for the first time outside of major events.

In December this year, TfW look forward to bringing in extra services and further introduction of new rolling stock. A breakdown of our plans (covering North Wales and Borders) is below went out for consultation in January:

Manchester – Cardiff/West Wales
Improvements in capacity – all core daytime services from Manchester to Cardiff or Swansea are formed of either Mark 4s or 5 car 197s.

Crewe – Shrewsbury locals
Upgraded from a single car 153 to 2 car 19 are7

Shrewsbury – Birmingham International
All core daytime services are at least 4 car 197, with some 6 car peak operation. Initially these services remain cl.158 but will be migrated to cl.197 during 2024.

Shrewsbury – Cardiff (and beyond, to Manchester, and to Holyhead)
Increases in capacity as nearly all services to Manchester are 5 cars, either Mark 4s or 197s. Plus all Cardiff – Holyhead services are formed of at least 3 car 197, plus the three Mark 4 services per day introduced from December 2022.

Chester – Liverpool/Manchester
Liverpool – Chester services are extended to Llandudno.

Manchester services stay at their hourly pattern, with increased capacity including 5 cars in the peaks. Most run to Bangor or Holyhead instead of Llandudno.

The one-train-a-day service between Wrexham and Liverpool will continue as a portion of the Liverpool-Llandudno service.

Chester – Crewe
Capacity increased from 2 car 153 to 3 car 197.

North Wales Coast
In North Wales, the hourly service to/from Manchester Airport will run to/from Bangor instead of Llandudno, providing an extra service every hour between Llandudno Junction and Bangor. Manchester – Bangor and Cardiff- Holyhead services are 3 cars minimum.

Llanfairfechan, Penmaenmawr and Conwy will become full stops instead of request stops and will receive this hourly Manchester service as well as the existing peak hour stops in Cardiff and Birmingham trains – so 2 trains per hour at peak times.

Conwy Valley Line
Class 153s upgraded to 2 car 197s

TfW are also aiming to introduce further enhancements in 2024, including the introduction of the 197s on the Cambrian Line and 1 train per hour Aberystwyth – Shrewsbury.

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