Transport for Wales (TfW) in the UK will remove or reduce a small number of underused rail services while increasing others in the country after a review of travel demands after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

At least eleven services have been removed, reduced, or amended by TfW (known in Welsh as Trafnidiaeth Cymru), following the review, with six routes seeing extra services or extensions introduced over the next few years. 

Colin Lea, planning and performance director for TfW, said: “The proposed new timetables will provide us with more resilience in the winter period and meet changed travel demands post-Covid.  

“Nearly every service that TfW operates requires public subsidy, and as a responsible operator, it’s imperative for TfW to balance the needs for a regular, robust and reliable service with available budgets to deliver value for taxpayers and more sustainable transport.” 

In addition to the timetable changes, which are set to take effect by 2026, TfW also deferred commitments to the introduction or extension of four different services from Cardiff. 

This included a new Cardiff Central to Liverpool Lime Street via Shrewsbury route, which the organisation blamed on the “levels of Network Rail infrastructure enhancement required”. 

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Additionally, TfW, an “arms-length organisation” owned by the Welsh Government, said considerations of stakeholder feedback, passenger numbers, alternative travel options, and the cost of public subsidy went into its decisions. 

Despite the cuts, TfW said it remained committed to its investments into Wales’ rail network, such as the £800m ($996m) it is investing into new trains for the country and the plans for five new train stations revealed last year as part of the South Wales Mainline Programme. 

The news comes shortly after Alstom revealed it would be starting its first passenger rail service in the UK with a route between London and Wrexham in North Wales.