Birthday Presents

Transport for Wales branded cupcake
Birthday cake: tasty treat at Machynlleth station handed out on the first day of the new rail franchise.
A year ago today, I was heading out of Wales for a holiday in Scotland. The day before, Saturday, I had marked the end of Arriva Trains Wales with a short ride from Fishguard & Goodwick to Fishguard Harbour. The day’s stormy weather meant that I gave up on the idea of heading to Carmarthen.

Lloyds Coaches double-decker bus on rail-replacement duty for Transport for Wales Rail Services
Lloyds Coaches double-decker LC62WYN at Shrewsbury replacing trains from Machynlleth on the first day of TfW’s franchise.
Sunday’s journey to Scotland would therefore be my first journey on KeolisAmey’s new ‘Transport for Wales Rail Services’ franchise. Unfortunately the weather had resulted in a line closure between Machynlleth and Shrewsbury, meaning my experience of the operator’s first day was a lengthy rail replacement bus ride. My train onwards from Shrewsbury was a Virgin Trains Super Voyager to Euston, where I joined the Caledonian sleeper to the highlands.

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