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Passengers in Wales urged to check before they travel ahead of new timetable and Christmas upgrades

Passenger in Wales are being urged to check before they travel as a new timetable comes into effect this weekend with vital upgrades to the railway also taking place in the Cardiff area over the festive period.

The winter timetable starts on Sunday 13 December with several changes to departure times on the Transport for Wales network to provide greater consistency for passengers.

Meanwhile, Network Rail will be carrying out vital track and signal upgrade work in the Cardiff area, from 30 December to 4 January, to improve the reliability of journeys and reduce delays for passengers.

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The work means a bus replacement service will run between Barry and Cardiff Central with other journeys possibly disrupted.

With COVID travel restrictions eased between 23 and 27 December passengers are asked to book ahead where possible as demand for services is likely to be increased.

Where possible on 27 December passengers are also advised to consider other travel options to ensure there is space for those making essential journeys.

Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Wales route director, said: “This work is vital in bringing faster, better and more reliable rail services for passengers in and out of Cardiff.

“Christmas is usually the quietest time on the railway which is why these essential upgrades have been scheduled to take place at this time, ensuring disruption is kept to a minimum.

“We are urging passengers to check before they travel to make their journey as smooth as possible and we thank everyone for their patience while we carry out this essential work.”

James Price, Transport for Wales Chief Executive, said: “With the lifting of travel restrictions we’re anticipating an increased level of demand on the 23, 24 and 27 of December but our teams will be doing all they can to get people home.

“The new timetable from 13 December will see some changes to departure times so it’s vital customers check the latest travel information. Some services may see short notice changes and customers should be aware of planned rail improvement works, use our Capacity Checker to find trains with the most space to support social distancing and, where available, reserve a place on your preferred train in addition to buying your ticket well ahead of the day of travel.

“Public transport remains a very safe way to travel and we have additional cleaning and safety measures in place, as well as additional teams on the network to ensure people are following the rules and wearing a face covering, unless otherwise exempt.”

More information about TfW’s Capacity Checker can be found at www.tfwrail.wales/planning-ahead/capacity-checker

GWR services to London, Swansea and Carmarthen will operate throughout, but may be retimed.  Please check your journey before travel on www.gwr.com and book in advance reserving a seat.  For advice about travelling with confidence you can find more information on https://www.gwr.com/safety

Avanti Trains will continue to serve North Wales with its current timetable, namely a direct return service from both Holyhead and Wrexham to London Euston. These are supported by a shuttle service from Crewe, from where connections can be made to and from services to London, Manchester, the West Midlands and Scotland. Again, please check all journey details before traveling.

Photo credit: Network Rail


For today’s rail news from railbusinessdaily.com click here.

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