Welsh train fleet likened to “old Ford Escort” as new franchise prepares to take over

(Title Image: Wales Online)

The Chief Executive of Transport for Wales, James Price, said Arriva Trains Wales’ fleet was like “a Ford Escort that’s done 300,000 miles” as the body prepares to take over the running of the Wales & Borders rail franchise with KeolisAmey on October 14th 2018.

New trains have been ordered from CAF and Stadler but aren’t due to come into service until the early to mid-2020s. Although the much-loathed Pacers are due to be phased out by the end of 2019, much of the remaining fleet will stay in place for several years.

James Price added, “We’re taking over at the most difficult time of the year (autumn leaf fall season). I’m not trying to get my excuses in first. We’re looking to provide a really high-quality service. We’re doing everything we can to make it better. I just want people to be aware of the challenges we face.”

He refused to blame Arriva, saying they were simply working to the term of the previous contract, which was awarded on a “zero growth” basis in 2003.