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Wales and Borders (Arriva Trains Wales)

What is happening now?

The Welsh Government announced on 23rd May that the contract to operate and develop the Wales and Borders rail service has been awarded to KeolisAmey.

KeolisAmey is a joint venture between Keolis, an international public transport operator, and Amey, an infrastructure asset management specialist.

KeolisAmey will take over the running of train services from 14th October 2018 and will be the operator until 2033.

Further details will follow soon about the improvements that the new franchise will bring.


Arriva Trains Wales will continue to run the franchise until October 2018.

Welsh Government has joint responsibility for managing this franchise alongside the UK Government and rail franchising will be fully devolved in 2018.

There were initially four bidders for the new rail service:

MTR Corp (Cymru) Ltd and Abellio Rail Cymru submitted tenders but Abellio had to withdraw from the competition following the collapse of its partner Carillion.

Arriva Rail Wales/Rheilffyrdd Arriva Cymru Ltd, the fourth shortlisted bidder, withdrew at an earlier stage of the process.

Our role in the franchising process

We aim to ensure the passenger voice is embedded at the heart of the procurement process.

We responded to the Transport for Wales consultation on the next franchise. Our response is based on insight from passengers, including our focus group research into the experiences and aspirations of current Arriva Trains Wales passengers, which we published in June 2017.

We used the results from our research and responses to the consultation in discussions with Transport for Wales and franchise bidders. We also provided expert reports on bidders’ proposals on the passenger experience to assist in appraising each bid.


Our National Rail Passenger Survey gives a twice yearly perspective on passenger satisfaction. Additional reports and publications can be found below.

Transport Focus reports and publications
May 2018 Wales and Borders rail franchise award announcement
June 2017 Wales and Borders rail franchise – consultation response
June 2017 The future of the Wales and Borders rail service: what passengers want
April 2016 Wales and Borders rail franchise – consultation response
March 2015 Commission on devolution in Wales – our submission
March 2015 Wales national transport plan – our submission

Click here for Transport for Wales website and publications


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