TfW warns less capacity than usual for a major event day
Transport For Wales (TfW) is warning rugby fans to travel early if heading to Cardiff to see Wales v South Africa today (Saturday 24th November) with less services than usual running.
The company said people heading into the capital should travel early and not wait until the last train to come home.
Around 70,000 people are expected at the Principality Stadium for the Autumn International final test.
A TfW spokesperson said, "Throughout Saturday there will be less capacity available than usual for a major event day and some services will run as a rail replacement bus service.
"If going to the match, travel into Cardiff as early as possible and do not wait until the last trains of the evening to return home.
"For customer safety, a post-match queue system will be in place at Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street stations."
And the disruption is expected to continue across south west Wales over the next two to three weeks while storm damage repair works are carried out.
Around a third of the company's trains will be off the track while issues associated with Storm Callum are fixed.
The company said some of the carriages it has 'inherited' from the previous operator are more than 30-years-old.
Keolis Amey Operations took over operating the Wales & Borders franchise from Arriva Trains Wales in October.
A TfW spokesperson said, "Ageing trains have led to an unprecedented number, around a third, of trains being out of service, and this has meant that reduced services are running across the network.
"Many services have been amended and priority given to the areas of greatest need.
"Continued problems resulting from damage to wheels caused by seasonal conditions means that a high number of trains are currently undergoing repair at Transport for Wales depots, where engineers are working around the clock.
"We regret these significant changes and inconvenience caused. Public safety is our first priority in the current circumstances."
Customers are being advised to check before they travel.
Colin Lea, Customer Experience Director for Transport for Wales Rail Services, said: “We are committed to delivering the best possible service for passengers and we apologise for the short notice changes to services and reduced number of trains in operation.
“Safety is out top priority and many of our trains are too damaged to run. This means we have around 20 less trains available to us than normal.
"Progress is being made and we have sent trains away to other parts of the UK for repair, plus running our depot repair equipment around the clock with staff working overtime through the night.
"This equipment, which we inherited from the previous operator, is however 33 years old and is not as effective as more modern kit.
“The scale of the situation means that we do not expect to be able to return to the normal level of service for a further two to three weeks. As trains are repaired they will of course be returned to use immediately.
"Wherever possible, we aim to provide bus alternatives to train services where the shortage of trains it most affected, and enable tickets to be used on other public transport providers and alternative train operators. We thank them for their help in this difficult situation.
“Ahead of autumn next year, we have committed to invest in additional and better trains, more modern depot repair equipment and also in technology to help when train wheels slide on the rails (a form of anti-lock braking).
"We remain resolutely focused on delivering the best possible service for passengers today, whilst planning for a better future and transformation in time.”