New Wales and Borders franchise begins as KeolisAmey takes charge

Photo: Stadler.
Photo: Stadler.

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, has described today as an important moment for devolution, welcoming KeolisAmey as the new operator of rail services for Wales and Borders.

KeolisAmey took over in the early hours of yesterday morning (October 14) from Arriva Trains Wales, which has held the franchise since 2003.

The new franchise will run for 15 years and includes a £5 billion investment, including £800 million on new trains.

Transport for Wales has committed to creating 600 new jobs and 450 apprenticeships over the life of the contract.

In a statement released by Transport for Wales ahead of a launch event at Pontypridd station, Carwyn Jones said: “This is an important moment for rail in Wales – indeed for devolution itself.

“Led by Transport for Wales with our partners KeolisAmey this will be the very first ‘made in Wales’ rail service, designed and delivered by the Welsh Government

“The opportunity to re-design and re-purpose our railway network in Wales is a once in a generation opportunity and I am confident that by 2033 it can be the best passenger rail service in the UK.

“The chance to develop an integrated transport system that encourages economic growth and better supports our public services is supported across all political parties, and the opportunities to develop Metro systems here in South East Wales, in the North East and around Swansea Bay are drawing attention from across the globe.”

Read more: Keolis: Managing passenger expectations greatest challenge of Wales and Borders franchise



  1. The new trains including the Stadler Flirt Bi/Tri-Mode will be classed as in the Class 7xx. The Tram-train vehicles will be classed in the Class 39x. Whilst the Class 175 are having a repaint and refurbishment. And with extra trains to be cascaded to Wales such as the Class 170 Turbostars to be cascaded from Greater Anglia and WM Trains. And the Class 142 & Class 143 Pacers to be sent for scrap when the new trains enters service in few years time.

  2. At long last – a commitment to improve the quality of the service via better and longer trains – for how long have we had to put up with slow 2 & 3 coach trains crammed to busting? – more training, better staffing and hopefully more flexibility via improved grade modification, extra dualling of steel on the ground, electrification, curves to allow extra routes through rather than reversing, as well as revamped/new stations from north to south Wales. After all, the system should be all about passengers who are the paying punters; they should come first – NOT the privatised company’s Directors & shareholders.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here