Wales & West - Wales & West Enhancements - B

Wales & West - B

Wales & West Enhancements

Wales & West carried out various enhancements to their 78-vehicle Class 158 fleet including new carpets, internal repainting and upgrades to air conditioning equipment. Seating was replaced throughout, with a revised layout offering a greater proportion of seats at tables and fewer airline-style seats.

One member of the Class 158 fleet was used to trial additional safety features. This included an airline-style lighting strip along the carriage aisle leading to the exits and illuminated arrows above internal doorways. In time, most of the company's trains also received an automated system of pre-recorded safety announcements.

Prism Rail also gave an undertaking to install passenger information displays at 205 stations. This ambitious project went on to cost Prism significantly more than expected, with no chance of recouping its investment – but the commitment was upheld and the project completed. Even the remote Sugar Loaf station that typically receives fewer than 100 passengers per year was equipped.

Wales & West other improvements committed to included:

  • Raising punctuality targets from 90% to 92%
  • Raising reliability targets from 99% to 99.5%
  • Station improvements including waiting shelters and personal security features
  • Re-staffing seven stations for an experimental period of 12 months

Wales & West Corporate Identity

By the end of the 1990s, the company had started to develop its own vehicle liveries to replace those inherited from Regional Railways. An experimental silver, blue and orange livery carried by 158867 evolved into a dedicated silver and navy livery for the flagship Alphaline fleet. The rest of the fleet began to receive an array of different promotional liveries featuring locations from the company's operating area.

The shortened Wales and West name was adopted to replace the original identity of South Wales & West Railway, with various updates to the company logo taking place.

Wales & West Demise

In 2000 the Strategic Rail Authority announced its intention that a single all-Wales franchise should take over the majority of rail services in Wales.

Accordingly, the Wales and West brand was withdrawn in October 2001 and services were redistributed between franchises and rebranded as follows:

The Valley Lines franchisee, Cardiff Railway Company Ltd, took on responsibility for most of Wales & West's services in Wales and changed its principal trading name to Wales and Borders Trains.
Other services primarily focused on south west England remained with Wales and West Passenger Trains Ltd. which changed its trading name to Wessex Trains.

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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