Transport for Wales Rail Limited, branded as Transport for Wales and TfW Rail ( and ), is a Welsh publicly owned train operating company, a subsidiary of Transport for Wales (TfW), a Welsh Government-owned company. It commenced operations of the day to day services of the Wales & Borders franchise on 7 February 2021, as an operator of last resort, succeeding
KeolisAmey Wales Keolis Amey Operations ( cy, Gweithrediadau KeolisAmey), Full legal name is bilingual including the Welsh name, as "Keolis Amey Operations / Gweithrediadau Keolis Amey Limited". trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services (TfW Rail Services) ...
. Transport for Wales Rail manages 248 National Rail stations, including all 223 in Wales, and operates all passenger mainline services wholly within Wales, and services from Wales, Chester, and
Shrewsbury Shrewsbury ( , also ) is a market town, civil parish, and the county town of Shropshire, England, on the River Severn, north-west of London; at the 2021 census, it had a population of 76,782. The town's name can be pronounced as eith ...
Liverpool Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. With a population of in 2019, it is the 10th largest English district by population and its metropolitan area is the fifth largest in the United Kingdom, with a populat ...
Manchester Manchester () is a city in Greater Manchester, England. It had a population of 552,000 in 2021. It is bordered by the Cheshire Plain to the south, the Pennines to the north and east, and the neighbouring city of Salford to the west. The tw ...
, Manchester Airport, Crewe,
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, Bidston and Cheltenham.


In May 2018, the Wales & Borders franchise was awarded by Transport for Wales to
KeolisAmey Wales Keolis Amey Operations ( cy, Gweithrediadau KeolisAmey), Full legal name is bilingual including the Welsh name, as "Keolis Amey Operations / Gweithrediadau Keolis Amey Limited". trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services (TfW Rail Services) ...
. Scheduled to run for 15 years, it commenced in October 2018. Following a collapse in revenues, and a significant reduction in passenger numbers as a result of the
COVID-19 pandemic The COVID-19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The novel virus was first identif ...
, the original franchise had become financially unviable. On 7 February 2021, Transport for Wales Rail Limited, the Welsh Government's operator of last resort, succeeded KeolisAmey Wales as operator of the Wales & Borders franchise. KeolisAmey and Transport for Wales will continue a partnership on further improvements on the network, with Amey Infrastructure Wales (AIW) continuing to have an involvement in the delivering of some key projects such as the Core Valley Lines.


, Transport for Wales Rail operates these regular and daily services Monday to Friday:

Rolling stock

Transport for Wales Rail inherited from KeolisAmey Wales a fleet of Class 143, 150, 153, 158, 170 and 175 diesel multiple units, Class 230 diesel-battery-electric multiple units, Class 769 bi-mode multiple units and Mark 4 and
DVT Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a type of venous thrombosis involving the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, most commonly in the legs or pelvis. A minority of DVTs occur in the arms. Symptoms can include pain, swelling, redness, and enl ...
sets with an allocation of Class 67 locomotives. Class 143 Pacers, which were not compliant with persons with reduced mobility legislation (PRM), were withdrawn on 29 May 2021 when their PRM dispensation ended. Class 197 and 231 diesel multiple units, Class 756 tri-mode multiple units and Class 398 tram-trains will replace the Class 150, 153, 158, 175 and 769 units by 2023.

Future fleet

All of Transport for Wales Rail's KeolisAmey Wales-inherited and extra temporary fleet is due to be replaced by 2023 (with the exception of the Class 67 locomotives).

Cascades and refurbishments

=Class 67-hauled Mark 4 set

= Six Class 67 locomotives have been adapted to work with three sets each comprising four Mark 4 carriages and a Mark 4
Driving Van Trailer A Driving Van Trailer (DVT) is a British purpose-built control car railway vehicle that allows the driver to operate with a locomotive in push-pull formation from the opposite end of a train. A key benefit of operating trains with DVTs is ...
, which will replace the
Mark 3 Mark 3 is the third chapter of the Gospel of Mark in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It relates a conflict over healing on the Sabbath, the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles, a conflict with scribes and a meeting of Jesus with hi ...
stock previously used on locomotive-hauled services. The twelve carriages and three DVTs were able to cascade from London North Eastern Railway, as a result of the introduction of Class 800s and Class 801s on the East Coast Main Line. The Mark 4 coaches have retained the
Virgin Trains East Coast Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) (legal name East Coast Main Line Company Limited) was a train operating company in the United Kingdom that operated the InterCity East Coast franchise on the East Coast Main Line between London, Yorkshire, the ...
livery, but with Transport for Wales labels attached. The Mark 4 Driving Van Trailers will be repainted into the new Transport for Wales livery. Four of the six Class 67 locomotives have been repainted into TfW Rail livery. TfW Rail introduced the Mark 4 sets in June 2021 on Cardiff to Holyhead services, and from December 2022 they will operate services between Swansea and Manchester using trains which had previously been planned to be used on the Blackpool route by Grand Central. The three Mark 4 sets will be retained and will remain on the routes they will work from their date of introduction on TfW Rail services.

=Class 153

= TfW Rail will retain eight Class 153 units to operate services on the
Heart of Wales line The Heart of Wales line ( cy, Llinell Calon Cymru) is a railway line running from Craven Arms in Shropshire to Llanelli in southwest Wales. It serves a number of rural centres, including the nineteenth-century spa towns Llandrindod Wells, ...

Class 170

All 12 Class 170 units are to be transferred to East Midlands Railway. All of TfW Rail's two-car units have already moved to East Midlands Railway with the three-car units to follow in Spring 2023.

New trains

For the longer term fleet replacement, 148 brand new trains will be introduced including 77 CAF Civity trains ( Class 197), 35 FLIRT trains ( Class 231 & Class 756) and 36 Citylink tram-trains ( Class 398) have been ordered. The addition of these trains to the fleet, from 2021 to 2024 but mostly in 2022–23, will allow the 109 (total) Class 150, 153 (13 by then), 158, 175 and 769 units to be withdrawn.

=Class 197 ''Civity''

= A total of 77 Class 197 ''Civity'' diesel multiple units have been ordered from CAF for long-distance routes. These trains will have end gangways, but fewer toilets than the Class 158 and Class 175 DMUs they replace. They will however be quicker, with more powerful engines and more efficient transmissions for better acceleration, as well as a higher top speed than the Class 158. Fifty one Class 197 units would be two-cars and 26 would be three-cars. CAF will undertake fabrication, welding and painting of the Class 197 fleet in their factory in Beasain, Spain. The first Driving Motor carriage vehicle bodyshell had largely passed this stage by 12 February 2020, when it was pictured in the Beasain factory. The painted bodyshells will then be shipped to Newport, South Wales, for further assembly/component-fitment at CAF's new UK factory in Llanwern.

=Class 230 ''D-Train''

= Five '' D-Train'' diesel- and battery-electric multiple units were expected to enter service from May 2022. These are being built in England from former London Underground D78 Stock aluminium bodyshells by start-up rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail between 2019 and 2020. The units began driver training in late August and is yet to be confirmed of entering service. Five Class 230 units will be retained and will remain on the routes they will work from their date of introduction on TfW Rail services.

=Class 756/231 ''FLIRT'' and Class 398 ''Citylink''

= Also, a total of 35 Stadler ''FLIRT'' units have been ordered (consisting of 24 Class 756 tri-modes - 7 three-car & 17 four-car units - and 11 Class 231 diesel-electrics), along with 36 Class 398 Stadler ''Citylink'' tram-trains. These will be manufactured at the Stadler factory in Szolnok, Hungary and assembled at their plant in Bussnang, Switzerland.

Future fleet summary

Past fleet

Between September 2021 and November 2022, all of the two-car Class 170s transferred to East Midlands Railway.



External links

* {{UK TOCs, current Government-owned companies of Wales Operators of last resort Railway companies established in 2021 Railway companies of Wales Transport operators of Wales 2021 establishments in Wales