Should the Wales and Borders franchise be branded differently e.g. 'Wales & Borders'?

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jimm

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Perhaps those people who go on and on and on about this are unaware, or don't care, that three large operaters serving Wales, and stations in Wales, make no mention of this in their titles. Great Western, Virgin and Cross Country. Nobody, to my knowledge, has died or been otherwise seriously inconvenienced by this so please give it a rest and find something sensible to grumble about.

No, of course no one understands this...

The issue does not arise in those cases, because their names aren't exactly geographically-specific for fairly obvious reasons.

Unlike Transport for Wales - a TOC which does not just serve Wales and runs trains deep into England, whereas Scotrail, to take the obvious example, has just one short incursion into England from Gretna to Carlisle.

Would all those people professing to be completely relaxed about the TfW name be quite so relaxed if a meaningless - sorry, neutral - brand like Silverlink or c2c had been used instead?

There were geographical maps on the TfW website but they had to be withdrawn after a day or two for the reasons noted on this page, where they have been preserved. No new ones have yet appeared.

http://www.projectmapping.co.uk/Reviews/atw_wales_train_rail_maps.html

So there were some maps - though you have to wonder how they ever saw the light of day in the first place reading the litany of problems with them. Maps which neatly illustrate the extent of the parts of the operation that are not for Wales or across Wales.
 
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Meole

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Whatever your opinion TfW is clearly improving the service for Wales which is its primary purpose, witness major track improvements on the Cambrian line already, delivery by WAG not Westminster.
 

Cardiff123

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Whatever your opinion TfW is clearly improving the service for Wales which is its primary purpose, witness major track improvements on the Cambrian line already, delivery by WAG not Westminster.
What improvements are those, considering Network Rail is responsible for the infrastructure?
 

Llanigraham

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Whatever your opinion TfW is clearly improving the service for Wales which is its primary purpose, witness major track improvements on the Cambrian line already, delivery by WAG not Westminster.

Really?
I've not noticed any. Yes there has been some relaying and some trees cut back, but I've seen nothing major.
Can you tell us where?
 

Meole

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6 km new welded track going in currently past Newtown replacing jointed track, costing £ 7.25 m for starters.
 

jimm

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Whatever your opinion TfW is clearly improving the service for Wales which is its primary purpose, witness major track improvements on the Cambrian line already, delivery by WAG not Westminster.

So the (Cardiff) Hereford-Manchester route is some minor sideshow in the context of public transport through 150 miles of England, is it? For many of the English communities it serves, it is the primary - often only - rail service.

6 km new welded track going in currently past Newtown replacing jointed track, costing £ 7.25 m for starters.

A routine renewal of life-expired track is a 'major' improvement? Seriously?
 

swt_passenger

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6 km new welded track going in currently past Newtown replacing jointed track, costing £ 7.25 m for starters.
Probably planned years ago and already budgeted for by NR as part of CP5 funding by DfT? Pure coincidence with respect to the franchise change.
 

Llanigraham

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Probably planned years ago and already budgeted for by NR as part of CP5 funding by DfT? Pure coincidence with respect to the franchise change.
Correct.
The replacement with CWR has been an on-going project on the Cambrian for many years.
 
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So the (Cardiff) Hereford-Manchester route is some minor sideshow in the context of public transport through 150 miles of England, is it? For many of the English communities it serves, it is the primary - often only - rail service.

To the Welsh and Cardiff Bay bubble yes.
 

Dai Corner

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So the (Cardiff) Hereford-Manchester route is some minor sideshow in the context of public transport through 150 miles of England, is it? For many of the English communities it serves, it is the primary - often only - rail service.

To the Welsh and Cardiff Bay bubble yes.

One from which profits can be drawn to subsidise services in Wales though, perhaps?
 
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One from which profits can be drawn to subsidise services in Wales though, perhaps?

Yup that one.

Lots of people would happily see TfW not call at stations in England. Many of whom won’t have any knowledge of the Crewe-Chester shuttle.

You’ll have seen some of the arguments for reopening the Aberystwyth-Carmarthen line and some people who want a internal north-south route:
https://nation.cymru/opinion/west-i...diff-and-the-north-coast-is-what-wales-needs/

(I’m not one of them btw)
 

Meole

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TfW provides a service that the English rail companies are not prepared to put on due to costs, there is no reason for Welsh taxpayers to subsidise these services, it is entirely reasonable for costs to be covered. Bangor to Cardiff is the de facto Welsh mainline due to Beeching and this must be respected as its primary purpose, a few English commuters to minor locations notwithstanding.
 

Eccles1983

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TfW provides a service that the English rail companies are not prepared to put on due to costs, there is no reason for Welsh taxpayers to subsidise these services, it is entirely reasonable for costs to be covered. Bangor to Cardiff is the de facto Welsh mainline due to Beeching and this must be respected as its primary purpose, a few English commuters to minor locations notwithstanding.


Nonsense.

As you will find out when Northern do a hatchet job on the Chester-Manchester line. I expect the footfall to plummet on the TfW services when competition is offered. (Peaks excluded)

This is the thing with the welsh argument, if all services were confined to the country of Wales the service would be slashed to pieces as it won't make money.

You'll find it is the English parts of the service that make it attractive, and furthermore sustainable.

And as a last note - the people of North Wales have bigger interests in terms of finance, culture and family in Northern England and its cities than they ever would in Cardiff and the bay.
 
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Dai Corner

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TfW provides a service that the English rail companies are not prepared to put on due to costs, there is no reason for Welsh taxpayers to subsidise these services, it is entirely reasonable for costs to be covered. Bangor to Cardiff is the de facto Welsh mainline due to Beeching and this must be respected as its primary purpose, a few English commuters to minor locations notwithstanding.

Minor locations like Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool? The figures aren't in the public domain but it seems likely they make a profit and subsidise other TfW services.

Ken Skates wants to serve Bristol too, when there is track capacity available. Why would he do that if it he didn't think it would make money?
 

tomuk

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TfW provides a service that the English rail companies are not prepared to put on due to costs, there is no reason for Welsh taxpayers to subsidise these services, it is entirely reasonable for costs to be covered. Bangor to Cardiff is the de facto Welsh mainline due to Beeching and this must be respected as its primary purpose, a few English commuters to minor locations notwithstanding.
This is hilarious. The rail companies, english or otherwise, don't decide what services to run the government decide through the franchise system. The majority of journeys on the North Wales Coast and the Cambrian are either local or to Manchester/Birmingham/London not to Cardiff. The Newport to Shrewsbury/Chester line has been far superior to any other North/South route that has existed in Wales since railways existed. Without services on the Marches and cross border to Manchester/Birmingham TfW would be demanding far more money from 'the welsh tax payer' to run the remaing services.
Oh and if you hadn't realised Meole Brace is in England.
 

krus_aragon

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TfW provides a service that the English rail companies are not prepared to put on due to costs, there is no reason for Welsh taxpayers to subsidise these services, it is entirely reasonable for costs to be covered.
If you're referring to the portion of services that operate in England*, the DfT has negociated/told TfW what services they require, what frequencies they will allow, and how much they will pay TfW to operate them. See in particular Appendix 1 at the end of the agency agreement here: it specifies for example that Newport-Shrewsbury isn't allowed to go over 3tph, and Chester-Manchester can't exceed 1tph.

*Referred to in documentation as England-only services and cross-border services

Bangor to Cardiff is the de facto Welsh mainline due to Beeching and this must be respected as its primary purpose, a few English commuters to minor locations notwithstanding.
I probably have a rather old fashioned view of things, but my opinion is that Wales has two bona-fide mainlines: the North Wales Coast and South Wales Mainlines. (The Marches Line may count as a third within the franchise area, but you may feel that it's too much outside of Wales.)

What would you say the de-facto Welsh mainline(s) would have been if not for the Beeching closures? Many of the internal lines closed were single track with passing loops, and were slow routes winding along narrow valleys.

At the very end of Gwyn Briwnant-Jones' book Railways of Wales circa 1900, he imagines the situation of a booking clerk at Amlwch looking through timetables for the best route for a passenger wishing to travel to the length of Wales (down to Penarth, iirc.). After first trying a mainly-LNWR route, and finding it couldn't be done within a day, he looked at other internal routes, but eventually concluded that travelling via Shrewsbury was the best option, even then.
 

Dai Corner

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I probably have a rather old fashioned view of things, but my opinion is that Wales has two bona-fide mainlines: the North Wales Coast and South Wales Mainlines. (The Marches Line may count as a third within the franchise area, but you may feel that it's too much outside of Wales.)

I'd agree. The same is true of the road network with the main links running east-west rather than north-south.

Wales makes no sense as a geographic / economic entity, with North Wales having stronger links with north west England than South Wales and South Wales having stronger links with south west England than north or mid Wales.
 

Meole

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After unprecedented levels of damage to trains caused disruption across the network, Transport for Wales engineers have worked almost 1,000 hours of overtime over the last four weeks to return damaged trains to the tracks," it said in a statement.

Improvements due to TfW not Network.
 

krus_aragon

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After unprecedented levels of damage to trains caused disruption across the network, Transport for Wales engineers have worked almost 1,000 hours of overtime over the last four weeks to return damaged trains to the tracks," it said in a statement.

Improvements due to TfW not Network.
They'll have been working on repairing the damaged trains. They have indeed been working hard on this, and intend to go further (aiming at ~87% fleet utilisation versus ATW's ~81%) in order to lengthen services without extra rolling stock. And there's also an intention to fit wheelslip protection to virtually the whole fleet before next year.

But none of this would be Network Rail's area of responsibility, so your last sentence is a bit inaccurate.
 

Greenback

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I can fully understand why the Transport for Wales name is inappropriate when the franchise operates so many routes and track miles outside of the principality. I don't think it reflects particularly well on the Welsh government, as it's bound to lead to people saying that the franchise is far too Welsh-centric.

So I would propose a slight change of name, and call if Transport for a Greater Wales. I think it works on more than one level :)
 

PHILIPE

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After unprecedented levels of damage to trains caused disruption across the network, Transport for Wales engineers have worked almost 1,000 hours of overtime over the last four weeks to return damaged trains to the tracks," it said in a statement.

Improvements due to TfW not Network.


Can we keep to topic, please. The shortages are being discussed here and are not connected with branding. Hope you don't mind me mentioning this.

/www.railforums.co.uk/threads/atw-keolis-amey-wales-stock-shortages.166304/page-17
 
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Arglwydd Golau

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At the very end of Gwyn Briwnant-Jones' book Railways of Wales circa 1900, he imagines the situation of a booking clerk at Amlwch looking through timetables for the best route for a passenger wishing to travel to the length of Wales (down to Penarth, iirc.). After first trying a mainly-LNWR route, and finding it couldn't be done within a day, he looked at other internal routes, but eventually concluded that travelling via Shrewsbury was the best option, even then.

Exactly. My father, a lifelong railway enthusiast, recalled his first long-distance railway journey with his father in 1919 or 1920. They travelled from Dinas (nr Caernarfon) to Abergavenny to visit his uncle...via Chester, Crewe, Shrewsbury and Hereford. It wasn't any different then as it is now (except for the Dinas - Bangor leg!). The myth of the wicked English under Beeching closing all the direct North-South railway lines in Wales is kept alive by various Nationalist posters on Social media, many of my friends still fall for it until I put them straight.
Mind you....I would happily spend a day or two travelling to Cardiff by the 'internal' routes now I have all the time in the world....would never have made it for a 10h00 meeting in Cathays Park though!
 

Gareth Marston

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Given that everybody looked to the Welsh Government to complain to over the recent crisis and Ministers were on full "it was the other boys fault" mode I wonder if they regret the branding linking them to what's happening or not happening when the public try to use the trains?
 

Starmill

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TfW provides a service that the English rail companies are not prepared to put on due to costs, there is no reason for Welsh taxpayers to subsidise these services, it is entirely reasonable for costs to be covered. Bangor to Cardiff is the de facto Welsh mainline due to Beeching and this must be respected as its primary purpose, a few English commuters to minor locations notwithstanding.
Funny because I've always thought that the primary purpose of the route is to connect Herefordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire towns large and small with each other and with Crewe, one of the most significant railway interchanges, and with Manchester, one of the largest cities in the country. I do not see that this has anything to do with Wales?

Of course long-distance traffic between North West England and South Wales is also catered for in this fashion, as is commuting traffic from Abergavenny, Pontypool and Cwmbran to Newport and Cardiff.
 

jimm

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After unprecedented levels of damage to trains caused disruption across the network, Transport for Wales engineers have worked almost 1,000 hours of overtime over the last four weeks to return damaged trains to the tracks," it said in a statement.

Improvements due to TfW not Network.

In the same way that routine track renewals on the Cambrian Line are not improvements by TfW, putting lots of dmus with wheel flats through a wheel lathe is not an improvement, it is part of regular maintenance and repair work carried out on rolling stock and also happens in England and Scotland and the rest of the world... Some of the wheel flats probably occurred on English soil...
 

HowardGWR

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After unprecedented levels of damage to trains caused disruption across the network, Transport for Wales engineers have worked almost 1,000 hours of overtime over the last four weeks to return damaged trains to the tracks," it said in a statement.

Improvements due to TfW not Network.
Hopefully they are returning repaired trains, not damaged ones!
 
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