TfW announce Sunday Railway Revolution across Wales

Sunday railway timetables across Wales will be transformed this December with a 40% increase in services across the network, a significant step toward the creation of a truly 7-day railway.

An additional 186 Sunday services will provide an economic boost throughout the country, providing essential links between cities, towns and villages.  Rail passengers will see the introduction of a Sunday service to Maesteg for the very first time, services doubled between Cardiff Central and Swansea, additional seasonal services will now run all year along the North Wales Coast as well as increased frequencies on valley lines.

Expected to help boost the tourism industry in Wales, TfW will create new Sunday services between Llandudno Junction and Blaenau Ffestiniog creating an all year-round Sunday service.  There will be four services in each direction providing vital links to tourist destinations in the area.

The Cambrian coast will also see a huge benefit, going from one Sunday service a day in each direction between Machynlleth and Pwllheli to five in each direction.

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy and Transport said:

“Transport is fundamental to the success of our economy in Wales and this dramatic increase in the number of Sunday services will increase connectivity between our cities, towns and villages.

“These services will improve access for social, recreational and educational opportunities, as well as employment opportunities.  Later services will also increase options for people attending late night events across the country.”

Customer Experience Director for Transport for Wales, Colin Lea, said:

“We’ve committed to giving customers the service they deserve on a Sunday and are delighted to be able to make these improvements. Some lines which never had a Sunday service before, will now be connected, giving greater leisure and economic benefits to so many areas.

“A huge amount of hard work has gone into developing this timetable for our customers.  We’ve seen some fantastic collaboration with our partners in Network Rail in securing access for earlier and later services, by moving planned maintenance times and I’d like to thank all involved for their hard work.”

James Price, Chief Executive for Transport for Wales said:

“This significant increase in Sunday services is an important commitment that we made when we launched our new rail service over a year ago, and follows the successful launch of our May 2019 timetable, where we introduced direct services between Liverpool and Wrexham for the first time in decades.

“We hope that our customers and potential customers will welcome these services as an important step in building a transport network that the people of Wales can be truly proud of.”

Philip Evans, chair of Conwy Valley Rail Partnership added:

“It’s great news that Transport for Wales have demonstrated their commitment to the Conwy Valley by introducing winter Sunday rail services while simultaneously giving a regular link from Llandudno to the network every day of the week.  This move addresses local calls and recognises the all year round impact of the tourism offer in the area.”

The confirmation of the extra Sunday services, follows TfW’s announcement about increased capacity for weekday services this December, which include:

  • Valley lines will see more four-carriage trains on peak services and combined with other rolling stock changes, will provide space for up to 6,500 more commuters every week
  • Passengers between Cheltenham and Maesteg, and between Cardiff and Ebbw Vale will have the benefit of modern Class 170 trains with more space, onboard passenger information systems, accessible toilets, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and power sockets
  • Long distance passengers on some services between North Wales and Manchester will be traveling on more modern ‘Mark 4 intercity’ carriages

Key improvements

Wales and Borders Lines  

  • New Maesteg Sunday service for the first time ever
  • New Llandudno Junction to Blaenau Ffestiniog Sunday service, the first time ever those lines will have an all year-round Sunday service. There will be four services in each direction, providing a new vital link to tourist destinations in the area
  • Doubling the number of Sunday services between Cardiff Central and Swansea, rising from 14 services between the two cities to 29
  • Services from Cardiff to Gloucester will start two hours earlier than during the December 18 timetable
  • Most Marches services have stops removed between Shrewsbury and Crewe (replaced by a Shrewsbury to Crewe local shuttle service). This gives much faster direct journey times
  • In addition, extra stopping services between Crewe and Shrewsbury, will give people in Shropshire and Cheshire a significant number of new services when travelling on a Sunday. This means we will increase from 9 services per day to 16
  • Currently TfW only run one Sunday service per day between Pwllheli and Machynlleth. TfW are increasing this to five in each direction, giving people more options than ever before
  • Enhanced Cambrian service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury increases from 16 services to 21
  • The Chester to Crewe current summer service becomes all year around
  • All year around Llandudno to Llandudno Junction. There has never been a winter Sunday service on this route before, meaning anyone wanting to visit the town between December and May had to use Llandudno Junction. This December sees 32 brand new services between the two being introduced

Valley Lines

  • A vastly enhanced Sunday service on the Rhymney line, with 7 extra services between Rhymney and Cardiff, alongside an almost tripling of services to/from Caerphilly – 16 each Sunday now, becomes 45 from December.
  • An hourly service between Treherbert and Cardiff, taking the total number of services from 15 now, to 28 on a Sunday
  • Enhanced Barry Island Sunday service (similar to the current summer timetable, running all year)
  • The Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay shuttle will increase from 100 services per Sunday to 130 and will run up to 22:00, giving people even more options to enjoy the Bay area on a Sunday before coming back to meet onward connections. Previously services finished on a Sunday at 19:00 – an additional three hours of service for customers