Wales & West - A

Wales & West - A

Wales & West was a train operating company in the United Kingdom that operated the South Wales & West franchise from 1996 until 2001.

The franchise was operated by Prism Rail from October 1996 until July 2000, when the firm was taken over by National Express. The company ceased to operate trains in October 2001, following a reorganisation of rail franchises.

Wales & West Operations

Originally privatised under the name South Wales and West Railway, the company operated a network of local and middle-distance services in South Wales and the south west of England. These ranged from rural services in Cornwall and Pembrokeshire to urban commuter services in the Bristol area.

Longer-distance services operated under the Alphaline brand provided regular links to North Wales and the north west of England, as well as to the South Coast and London Waterloo.

Wales & West received considerable government subsidy. The first full financial year (1997/98) was supported by a payment of £70.9 million, with expenditure due to reduce to £38.1 million for its final trading year of 2003/04. The provisional claim from British Rail for the year 1996/97 had been £84.8 million, including an administered profit of £4.8 million.

Wales & West Rolling Stock

Wales & West inherited a fleet of Class 143, Class 150, Class 153 and Class 158s from British Rail. Wales & West also hired-in some locomotive-hauled trains on occasion.

  • Class 143 Pacer

Diesel multiple unit

  • Class 150 Sprinter


  • Class 153 Super Sprinter


  • Class 158 Express Sprinter


Wales & West's fleet was maintained at Cardiff Canton and Exeter depots.

Wales & West Overview

Wales & West Franchise(s): Wales & West
13 October 1996 – 13 October 2001

Wales & West Main Region(s): Wales, South West
Wales & West Other Region(s): West Midlands, North West
Wales & West Parent Company: National Express
Wales & West Reporting Mark: WW
Wales & West Successor: Wales and Borders
Wessex Trains

Wales & West Length: 1,569 miles (2,525 km)


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