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More second hand trains proposed for valley lines the welsh valleys have to put up with second best why?

Arriva Trains Wales

The valleys service provided by Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) are failing commuters at peak times they having insufficient rolling stock to run a competent service so who do we blame.

Arriva Trains Wales emphasised that Welsh rolling stock is nearly 40 years old and that there will be a need to upgrade existing, older stock to comply with the Person with Reduced Mobility (PRM) Regulations by 1 January 2020.


“We expect the growth in passenger numbers on the Valley Lines to continue and aim to work with the Welsh Assembly Government, the local authorities and others to address the issues of growth and resulting over-crowding and to improve facilities and services in such a way that passenger comfort can be increased and further growth in numbers achieved. Further measures could include lengthening of some platforms and additional units that would enable extra carriages to be added at peak times.”


That’s what Arriva Trains Wales said back in 2003 when Arriva Trains Wales Ltd took over the operation of the franchise on 7 December 2003. So everyone was aware that passenger numbers on the Valley Lines would increase. Most of the rolling stock leased by (ATW) was designed to comply with the industry standards of the 1980s.

ATW does not need to modify any trains, because its franchise ends in April 2018. However, rolling stock company Porterbrook Leasing told Assembly Members that the modifications will have to start well before 2018.


“As currently configured, 73% of the train fleet cannot operate in passenger service on 1 January 2020 and beyond,” said Keith Howard of Porterbrook Leasing, which owns 40% of the trains used by ATW.


Paragraph 17 of the above link of concern to valley commuters but worth reading if you use the train as a routine commuter.


Rolling stock policy is further complicated because the phasing of electrification of the Great Western Mainline to Swansea and of the Valleys Lines (which according to the Minister will commence in October 2018 and complete by December 2019) will also take place after the next franchise begins.


The National Passenger Survey, conducted annually by Passenger Focus confirmed that satisfaction levels with the current franchise are highest in the Valleys and south Wales (90 per cent and 87 per cent respectively) and lowest in north Wales (84 per cent). Passenger

Focus also highlighted research that shows Welsh rail passengers identify value for money, frequency, punctuality and seating capacity as priorities for improvement.

Like all transport in Wales weather it be the M4 as it passes through the Brynglas Tunnels A470 Abercynon to Cardiff and A4059 at Mountain Ash all the problems the lack of funding by the labour party and its costing thousands or even millions by delaying basic highway infrastructure improvements. No direct bus route from Aberdare to Cardiff.