After a winter of pretty punctual service, it’s all gone pear-shaped on the Valleys line service run by Arriva Trains Wales. The last three journeys home from work have all been disrupted, the worst being last Thursday when a 12 minute trip was delayed by 30 minutes. Pretty impressive when you realise that trains run through Cathays to Taffs Well every 10 minutes or so.
Some cynics might think that that the nice weather and now school holidays has affected the availability of staff, but I think its probably down to the shockingly poor rolling stock. A small fortune has been spent in the last couple of years on lengthening platforms to accommodate 6 carriage trains. But I have never, ever seen a 6 carriage train been run. Indeed, 4 carriage trains are not always the norm. At rush hour, 2 carriage trains are regularly laid on, meaning that passengers are crammed in like sardines and standing room only for anyone getting on at Cathays.
Some positive news though. The car park at Taffs Well is being extended, as the original one is always full by 8:30. And at long last, the dump that is Pontypridd train station is going to get a thorough and long overdue revamp.