Arriva Trains Wales - Arriva Trains Wales Premier Service - D
Arriva Trains Wales - D
Arriva Trains Wales Premier Service
A weekday Premier Service between Holyhead and Cardiff was introduced on 15 December 2008. This was run under contract to the Welsh Government. Wrexham & Shropshire and Grand Central expressed an interest in operating the service, but the contract was awarded to Arriva Trains Wales. At the time of the launch, it was known as Y Gerallt Gymro (Gerald of Wales), it was subsequently named as the Premier Service.
The Premium Service departed Holyhead at 05:34, returning from Cardiff departing at 17:16. It featured first-class accommodation and a full dining car with a travelling chef. Normal standard-class fares were valid on the train. First class attracted a supplement and included a complementary breakfast on the morning service and a three-course meal on the evening service.
This was the only ATW service to offer first-class accommodation. It originally ran via Crewe but, in September 2012, the service was rerouted via Wrexham General, which required the train to change direction at Chester in addition to having its evening departure moved from 16:15.
In December 2014, the Premier Service was rebranded as the Business Class Service in an move by Arriva Trains Wales to promote the service and specifically appeal to those travelling to and from Cardiff to work. Ticket prices remained the same and were still sold as first class, and the restaurant service remains, although tablecloths and antimacassars were removed to promote a more work-like environment.
Arriva Trains Wales Special Services
For special events, such as football or rugby matches, ATW commonly operated additional services to the venue. Wales & Borders had arranged in the past a stopping service to Edinburgh Waverley. Numerous other services have been operated. ATW usually operated shuttle services to Newport on match days. When rugby international matches are held at the Millennium Stadium, ATW often ran an extra Holyhead to Cardiff service using the Premier Service rolling stock.
In April 2015, ATW were highly criticised and issued an apology for their continual poor performance when dealing with the Judgement Day rugby matches at the Millennium Stadium. Passengers were left queuing for hours due to the lack of services and lack of carriages available, some had to abandon their journeys for other means such as taxi and van hire. A spokesman for the company said “I want to assure all customers that every single train in Wales was out on Saturday.” He added that the event differed to international rugby events, because the majority of those travelling to the matches travelled from south and south west Wales, placing huge pressure on specific routes.
Arriva Trains Wales Former Services
Arriva Trains Wales used to operate services from Manchester Piccadilly, Pembroke Dock, Carmarthen and Swansea to London Waterloo, Brighton, Portsmouth Harbour, Plymouth and Penzance via Cardiff, Bristol and Westbury. Services south of Cardiff are operated by Great Western Railway, while the Bristol Temple Meads to London Waterloo services are operated by South Western Railway
Arriva Trains Wales Rejected Services
During late 2009, ATW filed an application to reinstate a direct Aberystwyth to London Marylebone service, serving all stations to Birmingham International and additionally calling at Leamington Spa and Bicester North. As proposed, two off-peak trains would have operated each day, while a further service would have been added on Saturdays in high summer. Rolling stock would have been Class 158 Sprinters.
There were concerns voiced that, if ATW were granted this service, it would push Wrexham General to London Marylebone operator Wrexham & Shropshire out of business; Wrexham & Shropshire's Managing Director, Andy Hamilton, stated: "We believe that this proposal – if approved – would push the date of profitability of WSMR by at least a year.
As a result of this our owning group would be unable to sustain additional and continuing losses and the WSMR service would cease to exist." In March 2010, it was announced that the application has been rejected by the Office of Rail Regulation due to concerns about the financial viability of the service and the potentially high level of revenue abstraction caused to other operators. Wrexham & Shropshire ceased to operate roughly one year later.
Arriva Trains Wales Overview
Arriva Trains Wales Franchise(s): Wales & Borders
7 December 2003 - 13 October 2018
Arriva Trains Wales Main Region(s): Wales
Arriva Trains Wales Other Region(s): North West
Arriva Trains Wales Fleet Size: 125 units
3 locomotive hauled sets
Arriva Trains Wales Stations Operated: 247
Arriva Trains Wales Parent Company: Arriva UK Trains
Arriva Trains Wales Reporting Mark: AW
Arriva Trains Wales Predecessor: Wales and Borders
Arriva Trains Wales Successor: KeolisAmey Wales
Arriva Trains Wales Technical Length: 1,623.8 km (1,009.0 mi)