1. ITV Report

Transport for Wales apologises for train cancellations saying it didn't expect 'these levels of issues'

A number of trains have been taken out of service to be repaired

The new rail operator Transport for Wales has apologised for a number of delays and cancellations to its train services.

TfW and Network Rail have admitted passengers "deserve better" after it issued a written apology to customers saying they "haven’t received the service they "deserve and expect”.

Of its 127 trains, 36 are currently being repaired causing delays and cancellations.

Trains have been cancelled from Chepstow and Caldicot to Cardiff and Newport

Paul Davies AM of the Welsh Conservatives highlighted that:

  • TfW’s morning commuter train from Chepstow and Caldicot to Newport and Cardiff has been cancelled 16 times in the last 20 weekdays;
  • Blaenau Ffestinog, Betws-y-coed and Llanrwst have had no trains all day on seven of the last 20 weekdays
  • And the 08.40 train from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury was cancelled on four days last week.

If the problems of Transport for Wales are serious enough to warrant full page apologies in several newspapers, it surely means the Welsh people are angry and concerned at the state of rail capacity in their country.

The early failures of TfW are disappointing but hardly surprising. The Welsh Labour Government have built a track record of failing miserably at transport and infrastructure projects over the years, so we should continue to expect such failures.

– Paul Davies AM, Welsh Conservatives

In response, First Minister Carwyn Jones said, "We did say we'd transform the rail network in Wales but we didn't say we'd do it in a month.

We said it would take time. Some of the problems are to do with the track and some of them are to do with the fact 30% of the rolling stock were affected by Storm Callum. We will deliver a train service for the people of Wales and we will keep our promise."

TfW said it is undergoing urgent repairs on a number of its trains.

Colin Lea of Transport for Wales said they are trying to fix things as

Autumn is always a difficult time for all rail operators.

We expected things to be difficult but we didn't expect this level of issues.

There are lots of reasons for that but the important thing is to fix things as quickly as possible

– Colin Lea, Transport for Wales

TfW took over the Wales and Border Franchise from Arriva Trains Wales in October.

Passengers on Friday were complaining of overcrowding on the trains with one saying some were left behind on the platform at Cardiff.

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TFW said trains and timetables will stay the same but there will be major changes in 2019.

Those plans can be read in full here.