ATW 'Gerald'

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Rhydgaled

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an arrangement was done with ORR,that Gerald could use a franchise path, if it stopped all stations to Hereford,so I am presuming ATW will have to fund the services you mention
The 16:21 was only a franchise path as far as Abergavenny/Hereford though, it now runs through to Chester as does 18:21 which I don't think was a franchise path at all.
 
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berneyarms

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Good points Rhydgaled,if I recall when Gerald first commenced there were no separate paths available from Cardiff for an open access service late afternoon,an arrangement was done with ORR,that Gerald could use a franchise path, if it stopped all stations to Hereford,so I am presuming ATW will have to fund the services you mention,in terms of filling Geralds Premier First Dining car with customers, both 1621 and 1821 attracted hardly anyone,current the 1716 the busiest service to North Wales fills with standard, but still fails to attract hardly any to first.
This is not quite the case - on at least two occasions recently that I'm aware of there were at least 10-12 customers in first class. I was one of them on one of those occasions and both the chef and the guard confirmed that numbers had been improving in first class.
 

merlodlliw

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This is not quite the case - on at least two occasions recently that I'm aware of there were at least 10-12 customers in first class. I was one of them on one of those occasions and both the chef and the guard confirmed that numbers had been improving in first class.
The old times did attract people on rare occasions into first, however I note what you say, however the up train when I see it at Wrexham perhaps twice a week carries from nil to two in first.As the later time out of Cardiff at 1716 always the busiest train to North Wales is better placed to attract first passengers,many tell me the morning train arriving at 10AM is to late to attract business people.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The 16:21 was only a franchise path as far as Abergavenny/Hereford though, it now runs through to Chester as does 18:21 which I don't think was a franchise path at all.
Correct about the 1621 the old version ran to Abergavenny , however this becomes a franchise path between Crewe & Chester. As for the 1821 from Cardiff,this is the new train returning from Llanelli which started at Holyhead, this also becomes a franchise train Crewe to Chester.



A rejig of resources.One of the explanations of ATWs thousands of extra seats media spin, I presume the trains go to Chester for service.
 
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berneyarms

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The old times did attract people on rare occasions into first, however I note what you say, however the up train when I see it at Wrexham perhaps twice a week carries from nil to two in first.As the later time out of Cardiff at 1716 always the busiest train to North Wales is better placed to attract first passengers,many tell me the morning train arriving at 10AM is to late to attract business people.
Well on the day I took it, 4 of us got off at Shrewsbury and the rest carried on (most going to Chester from what I could tell).

I'd be looking at first class numbers all along the route as they all contribute to the cost - not just those going to North Wales per se.
 
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merlodlliw

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Well on the day I took it, 4 of us got off at Shrewsbury and the rest carried on (most going to Chester from what I could tell).

I'd be looking at first class numbers all along the route as they all contribute to the cost - not just those going to North Wales per se.
The service was set up under the One Wales Agreement, to Bring both North & South Wales closer together,has the train is run open access,any extra customers from any station outside of Wales(only 3) will go straight into ATWs profit centre, so it would appear from your observation,few for North Wales stations were in first. Some pictures of Gerald taken on Sunday on the Chester/Manchester trials are on this weeks North Wales Rail website http://nwrail.org.uk/nwnews.htm Return of the Irish Mancunian
 
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jones_bangor

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Some pictures of Gerald taken on Sunday on the Chester/Manchester trials are on this weeks North Wales Rail website http://nwrail.org.uk/nwnews.htm Return of the Irish Mancunian
Worth pointing out that Arriva have two sets, but could presumably hire more sets to cover a new service from North Wales - Manchester. I doubt there would be First Class on such a service, more likely to be 4 x standards.
 

berneyarms

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The service was set up under the One Wales Agreement, to Bring both North & South Wales closer together,has the train is run open access,any extra customers from any station outside of Wales(only 3) will go straight into ATWs profit centre, so it would appear from your observation,few for North Wales stations were in first. Some pictures of Gerald taken on Sunday on the Chester/Manchester trials are on this weeks North Wales Rail website http://nwrail.org.uk/nwnews.htm Return of the Irish Mancunian
Yes, but if a fringe benefit is extra customers from Chester or Shrewsbury, then surely that is a good thing for the railway?

Realistically they are two of the biggest towns en route, and also happen to be major junctions as well, facilitating connections.

As others have suggested over these boards this train (and the other Cardiff-Holyhead trains) facilitate plenty of shorter trips as well as the possibility of north-south travel.

I would seriously question whether North-South Wales alone would ever justify the first class service.
 

Rhydgaled

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Worth pointing out that Arriva have two sets, but could presumably hire more sets to cover a new service from North Wales - Manchester. I doubt there would be First Class on such a service, more likely to be 4 x standards.
Two sets of coaches yes, but 3 locos and 3 DVTs. Also, from page 3 of this topic:
Gerallt stock will be having a test run to Manchester on a Saturday in early June , the loco hauled diagram Llandudno-Manchester-Holyhead-Manchester-Chester is now expected to start in Dec 14,five months earlier than expected, 6 mk 3s have been purchased for use expected to be load 4 and loco and dvt.
Anyone have any news on these 6 mark3s, or is that an unconfirmed rumour?
 

merlodlliw

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Two sets of coaches yes, but 3 locos and 3 DVTs. Also, from page 3 of this topic:
Anyone have any news on these 6 mark3s, or is that an unconfirmed rumour?
I have not heard anything about the Mark3s, anyhow they would be leased,unless DB have bought some, but from whom.

Yes, but if a fringe benefit is extra customers from Chester or Shrewsbury, then surely that is a good thing for the railway?

Realistically they are two of the biggest towns en route, and also happen to be major junctions as well, facilitating connections.

As others have suggested over these boards this train (and the other Cardiff-Holyhead trains) facilitate plenty of shorter trips as well as the possibility of north-south travel.

I would seriously question whether North-South Wales alone would ever justify the first class service.
Bernyarms.

The fringe benefit is indeed of benefit to ATWs profit centre,Chester is ATWs second busiest managed station with more tocs using it than Cardiff Central,I have always questioned the market for first class/Diner on Gerald, and the layover at Canton for seven hours each day
 

Gareth Marston

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My next door neighbour has started to regularly travel south wards down the Marches as she has grown up children in Bristol (2) and one grown up daughter and grandchild in Cwmbran. She traveled with me last Thursday increasing the numbers off the Cambrian for South Wales by 100% on the 0730 ex Aberystwyth. However this boost to numbers heading toward Cardiff Maybe short lived as she's considering a move down there as her and her husband are both close to retiring.
 

gazthomas

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Hi all, I've booked two advance standard singles to do the trip from Llandudno Junction to Cardiff Central and back in a day. Can I have clarity on whether I can upgrade to first on the day. I've seen conflicting information on this forum and elsewhere. Thanks!
 

headshot119

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Hi all, I've booked two advance standard singles to do the trip from Llandudno Junction to Cardiff Central and back in a day. Can I have clarity on whether I can upgrade to first on the day. I've seen conflicting information on this forum and elsewhere. Thanks!
Officially you should pay the difference between your standard class advance single, and the appropriate walk on ticket, then pay the upgrade.

In reality they usually just charge the upgrade.
 

merlodlliw

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ATW have issued a statement on Tuesday about Gerald from May 2015.

Statement is:
“In place of a two car 158 train for the 0749 Wrexham to Birmingham service, we
are looking at the current “ Yr Gerallt Gymro” service running in its place
providing more capacity and a higher service quality offer, but the service may
be leaving Wrexham around 15 minutes earlier.
This statement to the press was due to an AM raising the question of the withdrawal of two 158 Services into and out of Wrexham.
Namely the 0747 Wrexham/Birmingham direct, the 158 unit will transfer to the Cambrian in May 2015.What ATW don't say is Gerald runs to Cardiff,and of course it all depends on WG continuing to pay for Gerald to run.
 

Rhydgaled

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ATW have issued a statement on Tuesday about Gerald from May 2015.

ATW Statement said:
“In place of a two car 158 train for the 0749 Wrexham to Birmingham service, we are looking at the current “ Yr Gerallt Gymro” service running in its place providing more capacity and a higher service quality offer, but the service may be leaving Wrexham around 15 minutes earlier.
This statement to the press was due to an AM raising the question of the withdrawal of two 158 Services into and out of Wrexham.
Namely the 0747 Wrexham/Birmingham direct, the 158 unit will transfer to the Cambrian in May 2015.What ATW don't say is Gerald runs to Cardiff,and of course it all depends on WG continuing to pay for Gerald to run.
Unless it means WAG is not paying for Gerald and ATW are going to use Gerald on a Holyhead-Birmingham run instead. Of course that won't work unless that service is an exception to the normal rule that the Holyhead-Birmingham then forms a Cambrian service. Cardiff via Birmingham?
 
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Welshman

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Unless it means WAG is not paying for Gerald and ATW are going to use Gerald on a Holyhead-Birmingham run instead. Of course that won't work unless that service is an exception to the normal rule that the Holyhead-Birmingham then forms a Cambrian service. Cardiff via Birmingham?
Interesting point.
But then if the Cambrian is going hourly, perhaps not every Shrewsbury/Aberystwyth service will be starting back from Birmingham anyway?
 

merlodlliw

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Unless it means WAG is not paying for Gerald and ATW are going to use Gerald on a Holyhead-Birmingham run instead. Of course that won't work unless that service is an exception to the normal rule that the Holyhead-Birmingham then forms a Cambrian service. Cardiff via Birmingham?
No mention yet of Gerald being cancelled,only rumours,it would also mean a service would have to be provided from Cardiff at 1716 to service the franchise obligations,Has for the Premier service up to Cardiff, its open access all the way and could be culled at anytime
We would prefer the Holyhead/Birmingham early morning train to be rerouted back through Wrexham,this was sent via Crewe to make a path for Gerald.
I don't see ATW paying for a loco Hauled Holyhead/Birmingham.
 
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berneyarms

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Folks - can you just check that when you're quoting a post that you have an opening and corresponding ending quotemark - this started in post 106 and has continued ever since and is making this rather difficult to read.
 

berneyarms

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Interesting point.
But then if the Cambrian is going hourly, perhaps not every Shrewsbury/Aberystwyth service will be starting back from Birmingham anyway?
All of the proposed timetables have the additional Cambrian mainline services joining with /separating from Holyhead-Birmingham trains at Shrewsbury.
 

merlodlliw

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All of the proposed timetables have the additional Cambrian mainline services joining with /separating from Holyhead-Birmingham trains at Shrewsbury.
From May 2015, unless it changes, we only have two services,2 car 158 Chester/Wrexham/ Birmingham 0515 & 1130 ex Chester, I take it these will join up at Shrewsbury.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Has Geralds future funding is in the balance,UK RF members may be interested in the Welsh Government funded aircraft between Cardiff & Anglesey,which has raised concerns, due to its little use,BBC Wales reported the small aircraft is now flying between a third and half full.

Story from the Daily Post, little surprise the Anglesey AM wants WG to retain the two flight a day,

Anglesey to Cardiff air link costs taxpayers £86 per passenger
Jul 22, 2014 18:29 By Rhodri Barker
The Public Accounts Committee has raised concerns about the service after it recorded a 43% drop-off in passenger numbers from its peak
76 SharesAnglesey Airport
Each passenger on the air link between Cardiff and Anglesey cost taxpayers £86 in its first six years, reveals a critical report into the "underperforming" service.

Passenger numbers have fallen by 43% in five years and the service is not providing value for money for Welsh taxpayers, says the Welsh Assembly's Public Accounts Committtee.

A member of the committee has called for the service to be scrapped, but Anglesey AM Rhun ap Iorwerth says the air link is important to North Wales's success.

The committee's report into the cost and necessity of the air link has been published ahead of a decision by the Welsh Government on whether the service should continue.

The committee says a "comprehensive marketing strategy" is needed to boost passenger numbers, and has called for clarification of exactly how many journeys are made by public-sector travellers and wholly funded by taxpayers.

The service has been running two flights every weekday since 2007, and has been supported by a subsidy from the Welsh Government. Funding for the service is currently capped at £1.2 million a year.

The service carried 65,073 passengers between May 2007 and April 2013, at a total estimated expense of £9.01 million.

The committee's report says this would be equivalent to an average Welsh Government subsidy of around £86 per passenger.

Aled Roberts, Liberal Democrat AM for North Wales and member of the Public Accounts Committee, said the "wasteful and polluting subsidy" should be scrapped.

He said: "People in North Wales have gained little from this service. Any public money should be spent on improving rail links between the North and Cardiff.”

Rhun ap Iorwerth, Anglesey AM and Plaid Cymru Shadow Transport Minister, said the air link is a "very important" service for North Wales.

He said: “All transport is subsidised, and we must work to ensure that we get a good return on our investment in the transport infrastructure. One way to do that is to advertise the service better, but we also need to prioritise better rail and road links."

Mr ap Iorwerth said more attractive pricing structures and the offer of flights to London and Dublin could help to reverse the fortunes of the air link.

He said: "The easier it is to get people to North Wales - whether they be businesspeople, ministers or tourists - the better it is for the region."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The service improves business connectivity between north and south Wales, as well as boosting tourism opportunities.

"The process to award a future contract for this service has now started. It will look for the best service for the travelling public with the highest economic impact, while at the same time minimising the cost to the Welsh Government.”
The WG £1.2M cap the airline receives,is in addition to £450K WG pays PA for use of the Terminal Building in Anglesey.
 

Rhydgaled

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The WG £1.2M cap the airline receives,is in addition to £450K WG pays PA for use of the Terminal Building in Anglesey.
Oh, thought it was £0.8m for the flights plus £0.4m for the terminal making £1.2m total. £1.6m total then, probably a similar cost to Gerald?

Mr ap Iorwerth said more attractive pricing structures and the offer of flights to London and Dublin could help to reverse the fortunes of the air link.
Does that mean he wants WAG to subsidise flights from Valley to London/Dublin instead of Cardiff?

No mention yet of Gerald being cancelled,only rumours,it would also mean a service would have to be provided from Cardiff at 1716 to service the franchise obligations,Has for the Premier service up to Cardiff, its open access all the way and could be culled at anytime
We would prefer the Holyhead/Birmingham early morning train to be rerouted back through Wrexham,this was sent via Crewe to make a path for Gerald.
I don't see ATW paying for a loco Hauled Holyhead/Birmingham.
Just the wording of the statement:
ATW Statement said:
“In place of a two car 158 train for the 0749 Wrexham to Birmingham service, we are looking at the current “ Yr Gerallt Gymro” service running in its place providing more capacity and a higher service quality offer, but the service may be leaving Wrexham around 15 minutes earlier.
sounds like they are talking about improved capacity and service on 07:49 Wrexham to Birmingham. No time to enjoy breakfast between Wrexham and Shrewsbury and not much point in additional capacity on that little bit if you have to change onto a 4-car 158 at Shrewsbury which will probably have come from the Cambrian and already have passengers on.

If Gerald did Holyhead-Birmingham, through Wrexham at 07:49, then ran Birmingham to Cardiff somehow it would still be in Cardiff to run 17:21 northbound. It doesn't seem to make sense though.
 

merlodlliw

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Oh, thought it was £0.8m for the flights plus £0.4m for the terminal making £1.2m total. £1.6m total then, probably a similar cost to Gerald?
Its £1.6M, Gerald Also gets the £3.5M paid up front for stock and refurb for five years rental this amounts to £700K a year plus the £1.5M paid PA for ATW to run Gerald.
the stock rental ends next May?
Code:
Does that mean he wants WAG to subsidise flights from Valley to London/Dublin instead of Cardiff?
No Idea, but as the local AM, he has to be seen to keep the service

Just the wording of the statement: sounds like they are talking about improved capacity and service on 07:49 Wrexham to Birmingham. No time to enjoy breakfast between Wrexham and Shrewsbury and not much point in additional capacity on that little bit if you have to change onto a 4-car 158 at Shrewsbury which will probably have come from the Cambrian and already have passengers on.
The statement from ATW is simply comparing Mark 3s with a 158,Gerald will not run to Birmingham, cleverly omitted by ATW, Passengers will have to change at Shrewsbury and wait
 
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berneyarms

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Just to be clear about what is being suggested here:

The 05:33 Holyhead-Cardiff (the Mark 3 set or "Gerald") would now stop additionally at the intermediate stations between Wrexham and Shrewsbury, leaving Wrexham at 07:32 as at present.

The current 07:00 Shrewsbury-Wrexham and the 07:47 Wrexham-Birmingham International would no longer operate. The 07:47 currently joins up with the 05:14 Holyhead-Birmingham International at Shrewsbury (the latter train operates via Crewe).

A new 06:30 Aberystwyth-Birmingham International service will operate, joining the 05:14 Holyhead-Birmingham International at Shrewsbury.

The losers out of this are the passengers travelling from Wrexham, Ruabon, Chirk and Gobowen to Shrewsbury who will have to leave 15 minutes earlier, and any of those passengers travelling towards Birmingham will have a 15 minute wait at Shrewsbury to connect onto the combined service from Shrewsbury and Holyhead.

Given the pathing on the North Wales and around Newport/Cardiff, delaying the Mark 3 set by 15 minutes (which would be the ideal solution) isn't really an option unfortunately.
 
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Gareth Marston

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Just to be clear about what is being suggested here:

The 05:33 Holyhead-Cardiff (the Mark 3 set or "Gerald") would now stop additionally at the intermediate stations between Wrexham and Shrewsbury, leaving Wrexham at 07:32 as at present.

The current 07:00 Shrewsbury-Wrexham and the 07:47 Wrexham-Birmingham International would no longer operate. The 07:47 currently joins up with the 05:14 Holyhead-Birmingham International at Shrewsbury (the latter train operates via Crewe).

A new 06:30 Aberystwyth-Birmingham International service will operate, joining the 05:14 Holyhead-Birmingham International at Shrewsbury.

The losers out of this are the passengers travelling from Wrexham, Ruabon, Chirk and Gobowen to Shrewsbury who will have to leave 15 minutes earlier, and any of those passengers travelling towards Birmingham will have a 15 minute wait at Shrewsbury to connect onto the combined service from Shrewsbury and Holyhead.

Given the pathing on the North Wales and around Newport/Cardiff, delaying the Mark 3 set by 15 minutes (which would be the ideal solution) isn't really an option unfortunately.
Our research indicates that the 0630 from Aberystwyth will be quite popular not only for commuting into Shrewsbury from the upper Severn valley but also the range of longer distance travel options it gives in the AM that the current 0711 arrival is maybe too early for and the current 0925 arrival too late.

The Duplicate section of the M4 is supposedly going to be half borrowed and half out the current infrastructure budget, which will have a big impact on anything else infrastructure wise happening in Wales
 

merlodlliw

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The losers out of this are the passengers travelling from Wrexham, Ruabon, Chirk and Gobowen to Shrewsbury who will have to leave 15 minutes earlier, and any of those passengers travelling towards Birmingham will have a 15 minute wait at Shrewsbury to connect onto the combined service from Shrewsbury and Holyhead.

Given the pathing on the North Wales and around Newport/Cardiff, delaying the Mark 3 set by 15 minutes (which would be the ideal solution) isn't really an option unfortunately.
[Berney Arms

Indeed the losers are those travelling from Wrexham and the other three stations,has Gerald took the path of the original Holyhead/Birmingham 158 which ATW diverted via Crewe, why not return it via Wrexham at 0747,as this will occur on the same day as the Saltney/Rossett redouble is included in the May 2015 timetable,ATW are very quiet on this,could it be the £44 million scheme would not allow a path for it.
The original intention was to run the Wrexham 158 to Shrewsbury,but due to outcry from travel to work passengers,ATW was forced to run the unit to Birmingham has it had done for many years.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The Duplicate section of the M4 is supposedly going to be half borrowed and half out the current infrastructure budget, which will have a big impact on anything else infrastructure wise happening in Wales
I don't think WG can borrow any more from reserves,as reserves have been used to buy Cardiff Airport & service it.
So does this mean goodbye Newtown bypass?, which was going ahead provided funds were available.
You are correct about other infrastructure,this wont happen now and the A55 will fall apart.
 
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berneyarms

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Our research indicates that the 0630 from Aberystwyth will be quite popular not only for commuting into Shrewsbury from the upper Severn valley but also the range of longer distance travel options it gives in the AM that the current 0711 arrival is maybe too early for and the current 0925 arrival too late.

The Duplicate section of the M4 is supposedly going to be half borrowed and half out the current infrastructure budget, which will have a big impact on anything else infrastructure wise happening in Wales
I imagine that the 06:30 from Aberystwyth will indeed be quite popular. It's filling in a gap that was badly needed.

Indeed the losers are those travelling from Wrexham and the other three stations,has Gerald took the path of the original Holyhead/Birmingham 158 which ATW diverted via Crewe, why not return it via Wrexham at 0747,as this will occur on the same day as the Saltney/Rossett redouble is included in the May 2015 timetable,ATW are very quiet on this,could it be the £44 million scheme would not allow a path for it.
The original intention was to run the Wrexham 158 to Shrewsbury,but due to outcry from travel to work passengers,ATW was forced to run the unit to Birmingham has it had done for many years.
The issue is not really one of paths - it's one of rolling stock. There's only so much you can do with what you've got! The set for the Wrexham service is going to Aberystwyth - that much we know.

By re-routing the 158 via Wrexham you then have the problem of no stock to operate the all stations 07:34 Crewe-Shrewsbury which the 05:14 from Holyhead operates by operating Holyhead-Crewe-Shrewsbury-Birmingham.

They're trying to please everyone, but I don't think I've ever come across a set of timetable changes anywhere that manages to do that.
 

Gareth Marston

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[Berney Arms

Indeed the losers are those travelling from Wrexham and the other three stations,has Gerald took the path of the original Holyhead/Birmingham 158 which ATW diverted via Crewe, why not return it via Wrexham at 0747,as this will occur on the same day as the Saltney/Rossett redouble is included in the May 2015 timetable,ATW are very quiet on this,could it be the £44 million scheme would not allow a path for it.
The original intention was to run the Wrexham 158 to Shrewsbury,but due to outcry from travel to work passengers,ATW was forced to run the unit to Birmingham has it had done for many years.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


I don't think WG can borrow any more from reserves,as reserves have been used to buy Cardiff Airport & service it.
So does this mean goodbye Newtown bypass?, which was going ahead provided funds were available.
You are correct about other infrastructure,this wont happen now and the A55 will fall apart.
This will be with the borrowing powers Welsh Government has gained not reserves, the interesting question will be which budget the money is paid back from with interest as well. If it comes out of transport solely that means the budget for anything else is squeezed further, there's still intent to complete the A465 dualling and build a dual carriageway link road from the M4 to Cardiff Bay.
There's the contribution to Valleys line electrification to factor in as well.
 
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