THE pattern of Sunday rail timetables in Wales is set to change radically next month. Transport for Wales said the number of services would increase by almost half, with an extra 186, or 40 per cent, being introduced on 15 December for the winter timetable.
Among the many changes, Maesteg will gain a Sunday service for the first time since British Rail restored passenger trains on the line from Bridgend in 1992, while on the north coast Llandudno will see new winter Sunday trains running through to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Transport for Wales said these lines have not had winter Sunday trains before. On the Cambrian Coast line between Machynlleth and Pwllheli, the previous service of one train on Sundays will be expanded to five, while the number of Sunday trains between Cardiff Central and Swansea will be doubled.
Weekday services are also being improved from 16 December, with more four-car trains running on the Valley Lines and rolling stock upgrades on several routes.
Economy and transport minister Ken Skates 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.’
Colin Lea, who is customer experience director for Transport for Wales, added: ’We 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. We’ve seen some fantastic collaboration with our partners in Network Rail in securing access for earlier and later services, by moving maintenance times, and I’d like to thank all involved for their hard work.’
His colleague at TfW. chief executive James Price, said the increased services fulfilled ’an important commitment’. He continued: ‘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.’