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We’re moving with the times

The introduction of our December 2019 timetables signals the most significant changes to train times on our network in the last ten years. Our new timetables include much- enhanced Sunday services with brand new services on some routes along with an increased frequency and earlier / later services on other routes.  The launch of our new timetables also marks the start of the rollout of newer and refurbished trains.


New train timetables are being introduced from Sunday 15 December

Check your journey plans and find out what it means for you here

Check your jounrey


Across our network this means:

  • Changes to train times
      • Why are there so many timetable changes especially in the South of the network?
        Whilst there will be some small changes to service times across the network, the services impacted most by this December timetable change are services that run along the South Wales mainline. The electrification of the line between South Wales and London and the introduction of a new fleet of trains means that London services are much faster. As a knock-on effect, all train services that run on the line between Swansea and Severn Tunnel Junction have had to be retimed to accommodate these faster services.
      • Which services are most significantly affected?
        Services most affected are:
        Cardiff - Holyhead
        Cardiff - Swansea
        Maesteg - Cheltenham
      • Why have services between Cardiff to Holyhead been affected so much by this timetable change?
        As well as the need to accommodate the retiming of the South Wales to London services, we have also had to amend the timetable for this route because in early 2020 the current “Gerald” loco-hauled train and carriages will be operated on additional services along this route. This train has different operational requirements and cannot stop at all the stations along this route where platforms are too short. This has resulted in different calling patterns for certain services along this route. We also have a contractual requirement to offer faster services between North and South Wales.
      • Why is there now a longer waiting time for my connecting service?
        Our timetable planners have worked their hardest to keep service connections where possible. However, there will still be some instances where services may no longer inter-connect seamlessly especially as other train operators’ train times are changing too.
  • Extra Sunday services
    • Sunday railway timetables across Wales and the borders will be transformed this December with extra services across the network.
    • An increase of around 40% in Sunday services will mean more choice for everyone.
      • Why have you increased Sunday services?
        Our aim is to operate a true seven day a week railway. We recognise that customer trends have changed with customer figures and customer research showing that there is now increased demand for more train services on a Sunday. So, quite literally, as our December timetable change campaign suggests “we’re moving with the times”! Our new Sunday services will deliver both leisure and economic benefits across our network.
      • Where have Sunday services been increased?
        In collaboration with Network Rail, we aim to deliver over the next six months a much-enhanced Sunday service with earlier and later train services across all areas of our network.
      • Improvements include
        Rhymney – Cardiff: seven extra services between Rhymney and Cardiff and 13 extra services between Cardiff and Caerphilly including earlier and later services

        Treherbert – Cardiff: 13 extra services now providing an hourly service including earlier and later services.

        Barry Island – Cardiff: The summer timetable now running all year round including earlier and later services.

        Cardiff Bay Shuttle: 30 extra services and will now run until 22:00 (previously finished at 1900)

        Maesteg – Cardiff: A brand new service with 14 services, 7 in each direction

        Cardiff Central – Swansea: 15 extra services between the two cities including earlier and later services

        Shrewsbury – Crewe: Seven extra services with the introduction of new shuttle service for local stops and faster direct services.

        Pwllheli – Machynlleth: Eight extra services, increasing the service from one return service to five return services throughout the day

        Aberystwyth – Shrewsbury: Five extra services

        Chester – Crewe: Extra services as the summer service extends to an all-year service.

        Llandudno Junction – Llandudno Town: Extends to an all-year service with 31 extra Sunday services

        Llandudno Junction – Blaenau Ffestiniog: Extends to an all-year service with eight extra services

        Holyhead to Manchester: Additional services with earlier starts and later finishes
  • Newer and refurbished trains rolling out
      • When will we see the newer trains being introduced?
        The new December timetable paves the way for the introduction of newer and refurbished trains on the following routes over the next six months.

        Maesteg – Cheltenham: Newer and refurbished Class 170 trains start to roll out on Cheltenham services with charging points, air-conditioning, passenger information screens and table seating.

        Ebbw Vale – Bridgend: Newer and refurbished Class 170 trains start to roll out on Ebbw Vales services with charging points, air-conditioning, passenger information screens and table seating.

        Holyhead - Manchester: A loco-hauled train with newly refurbished carriages with charging points, air-conditioning, passenger information screens and a café bar will be introduced on the Holyhead to Manchester route from early 2020.

        Wrexham - Bidston: Newly refurbished Class 230 trains with air conditioning and charging points will be introduced along the Borderlands route from Spring 2020.

        Holyhead – Cardiff: The current “Gerald” loco-hauled train and carriages will run on additional services from early 2020.

        From the middle of next year we will be introducing much more modern and newly refurbished carriages on this service with charging points, air-conditioning and passenger information screens.
      • How do you decide which routes the newer trains run on?
        The decision is based on the technical specification of each train and the operational requirements of each route such as platform length, distance between stations and track dimensions.

        Our new Class 170 fleet for example is a type of train already used by another operator between Cardiff and Cheltenham Spa so we know it can safely operate on those services.

        Some trains are more suitable for moving lots of commuters, with short distances between stations, so a very fast train may not be necessary.
      • Why are the pacers still running on the Valleys lines?
        Whilst our original plan was to take all our Class 143 and 142 Pacer trains out of operation by the end of 2019, we now expect these to continue to run on the local Cardiff and Valley line services for a short time into 2020. The aim is to protect capacity on these routes whilst we await the delayed delivery of our refurbished fleet of Class 769 trains that will start to be out and about on our network from Spring 2020. As newer trains become available, we will continue to phase out our Pacer fleet, ensuring there is no capacity impact as a result.
  • More seats on key services
      • In the short term we plan to continue running pacers, typically in four-car formation, to allow for more capacity into and out of Cardiff from the core valley lines. This will also allow us to run our Class 150 trains on other Core Valley line services. These trains have greater capacity overall and we expect it to result in a real benefit for commuter services with a boost in capacity during the morning and evening peaks. We are bringing in additional Class 153 trains which can run either as a single carriage on quieter services, or coupled up with other types of train to increase capacity further.


December 2019 - May 2020 Timetables

Printed timetable booklets will be available from your local ticket booking office from 14 December.

Timetable 1
Swansea, Shrewsbury, Cambrian Coast, Chester & Birmingham
Dec 19-May20

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Timetable 2
South Wales, North Wales & Manchester
Dec 19-May20

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Timetable 3
West Wales, Swansea, Maesteg, Cardiff & Cheltenham
Dec 19-May20

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Timetable 4
North Wales, Liverpool, Chester, Crewe, Warrington & Manchester
Dec 19-May20

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Timetable 5
Valleys, Cardiff Local Routes & Ebbw Valley
Dec 19-May20

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