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First Great Western franchise extended

The franchise will run until September 2015 Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

First Great Western, which runs services between South Wales and London, is promising improvements after it was given a 23-month extension to its franchise.

The UK Government says it'll carry on running the Great Western main line until September 2015 before bidding starts for a new long-term franchise.

Greater wifi coverage and additional sleep carriages are among the improvements announced.

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Half of FGW train passengers ignore announcements

First Great Western train gets ready to leave station Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

First Great Western have decided to reduced the number of announcements made on train journeys, following pressure from passengers. Research carried out by the train provider found, half of passengers don't listen to them.

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First Great Western 'disappointed' at planned strike

A spokesperson for First Great Western says the company is 'extremely disappointed' that union workers are planning industrial action later this morning.

Even though the strike action is going ahead, we are planning to run a normal service on Friday and Saturday to make sure that our customers are unaffected by this action.

– First Great Western spokesperson

The planned industrial action follows a dispute over a colleague's dismissal from the company.

Swansea train managers plan 24-hour strike

Credit: David Davies/PA

Swansea train managers are due to stage a 24-hour strike later this morning over what they claim is the unfair dismissal of a colleague.

Transport union RMT says the former First Great Western train manager was sacked following an incident that took place when he was off-duty, despite '30 years of unblemished service'.

RMT says First Great Western's response was 'draconian' and 'over the top' - but the company says the former employee's behaviour was 'unacceptable'.

First Great Western says services will not be affected by the planned industrial action.

Welsh MPs: High-speed rail discussions 'disappointing'

The Welsh Select Committee say it is 'disappointing' that Wales has so far been excluded from plans for high-speed rail.

But the committee's chair David Davies said that the UK Government's decision to extend electrification to Swansea and the Valley lines into Cardiff should be welcomed.

In a report published today, the committee said that current plans for the HS2 link could cause damage to the Welsh economy by attracting businesses and people to move across the border.

The MPs want the UK and Welsh Governments to develop plans for a high-speed rail link between Wales and England.

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