Arriva Trains Wales' new timetable responds to passenger demand
6 October 2008
More services, new destinations and shorter journey times will be introduced in the new December timetable as a response to growing passenger demand, Arriva Trains Wales announced today (Monday, 6 October).
Starting on Sunday 14 December, the new timetable aims to improve performance, increase seating capacity and offer more journey opportunities across key destinations on mainline routes in Wales and the English border area.
One of the highlights of the new timetable will be a new, direct service from Aberystwyth to Birmingham International Airport (BIA) and the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), a first for train services on the Cambrian Line.
This new service will improve punctuality of services and provide an additional 650 seats a day on services from Shrewsbury to Birmingham and will also be fully integrated with the new Virgin Trains timetable on the West Coast Main Line.
The introduction of the new service will also address a longstanding performance issue whereby services from the Cambrian Line to Birmingham were frequently terminated short at Wolverhampton due to pathing problems into the busy Birmingham New Street Station.
There will be a new direct, two hourly service from Holyhead to Birmingham International Airport via Chester, Shrewsbury and Birmingham New Street, with connections from North Wales at Chester for Virgin Trains services.
To reflect continued popularity of the busy Cardiff - Manchester Piccadilly route, a new hourly Sunday service will be introduced with a focus on improving services for passengers between both university cities.
Faster journey times are set for West Wales routes between Swansea - Milford Haven and Swansea - Pembroke Dock, saving up to 15 minutes on certain services.
More regular spacing of train services across North Wales routes will see additional shuttle trains destined for Llandudno Station, opening up more mainline routes to visitors to North Wales
Mike Bagshaw, commercial director of Arriva Trains Wales, explained: “We’ve seen consistent growth in passenger numbers in recent years. The changes to the timetable are designed to respond to customer demand by providing more regular, direct and faster services across key parts of our network.
“The link with Birmingham International Airport, as well as the National Exhibition Centre is a significant move for us, providing a new route for the first time via rail for Welsh passengers and potentially visiting tourists to Wales.
“We’re committed to providing customers with a first rate service and have set ambitious growth plans in 2009.”
Simon Pickering, Passenger Focus’s manager for Wales, said: “We welcome and support Arriva Trains Wales’ timetable changes. As a significant part of the transport network in and out of Wales, the changes will be positive for most passengers using the train with more regular services scheduled along the main coast line.”
For further information visit www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk