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First Minister 'concerned' about rail electrification bill

The First Minister says he's 'now concerned about the UK Government's intentions' over funding for electrification of the main London to South Wales railway line and the Valleys Lines.

Carwyn Jones said he still doesn't have confirmation from the UK Government that it will pay the full cost of electrification despite assurances from the Prime Minister and Welsh Secretary. He said ministers and officials continue to try to gain 'clarification' on the situation.

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Final plans for Port Talbot station unveiled

Artist's impression of new Port Talbot Railway station Credit: Network Rail

Final plans for the improvement of Port Talbot Parkway railway station will be unveiled later today. Work on the £11m project has begun recently and will continue until Spring 2015.

It will see the demolition of the existing station to make way for a new development which will comprise of better access to platforms, a new ticket office and waiting areas, as well as a new car park.

Network Rail is holding the public event for the public at The Grand Hotel in Station Road in Port Talbot from 3-8pm

Representatives from Network Rail, who are delivering the scheme, will be present, alongside members of Kier Plc, Arriva Trains Wales and Tata Steel.

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Rail fares: Where does the money go?

Train companies retain an average of just 3p from every pound paid for rail tickets, with the vast majority of revenue going on maintenance, staff costs and investment in the rail network, according to figures released by the industry association the Rail Delivery Group:

On average, train companies make a 3p profit in every pound on rail tickets sold. Credit: railfares2014.com/RDG

Rail fares go up with rate of inflation

person holding rail tickets
28 new vending machines are being introduced across Wales to make it easier to buy tickets Credit: PA

Rail fares are to go up by an average of 3.1% today. Despite the increase, it's the smallest rise in four years.

This means ticket prices such as an open return from Newport to Swansea, will go up from £16.00 to £16.50.

Last week, the Welsh Transport Minister announced season ticket prices will be held below the rate of inflation in an attempt to encourage the use of public transport.

A discounted multi-ticket system to enable more flexible travel at a lower price, which will benefit part- time workers will also be introduced.

But Welsh charity Sustrans Cymru say they are concerned that many people will be affected by the increase as salaries have not gone up.

Wales' rail service is 'lagging behind', says report

Commuters who travel by train in Wales are putting up with a service that's lagging behind the rest of the UK.

That's the verdict of a report by Campaign for Better Transport. They say there are problems with access and low satisfaction with the services on offer.

The report argues a more joined up approach is needed along with the devolution of more responsibilities to the Welsh Government.

Our Political Reporter Owain Philips has the story.

Train companies welcome station improvements

Network Rail and Arrive Trains Wales will invest over £1m to the programme and hope it will encourage more people to use train services.

Mike Bagshaw, Commercial Director of Arriva Trains Wales said:

"We are very excited about these improvements and are pleased to be involved in programmes that support a safe, accessible and sustainable transport network across Wales.

"Our investment in this series of projects will build on the £30 million Arriva Trains Wales has invested over the last 10 years to improve stations, staff facilities and training, service availability and ticket purchase opportunities."

Mark Langman, Route Managing Director of Network Rail said:

"The aim of the scheme is to revitalise the station environments by making noticeable and lasting improvements for the benefit of passengers.

"Stations are the shop window for the railway and we hope this improvement programme will encourage even more people on to the trains at a time when we are seeing record passenger numbers."

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