A new open-access train operator, Grand Union Trains has revealed plans to launch a new service linking Wales and London by May 2021.
The trains will begin running every two hours but by May 2023, this will be cut to each hour. This will create 150 new jobs and will see further investment made in the Severn Tunnel Junction Station.
The Office of Rail and Road have received proposals requesting permission to begin work. As it stands, the journey takes 2 hours and 5 minutes but this new route will reduce that by 20 minutes. The service will utilise electric trains that have the ability to travel at 125mph, these were trains that once run between Edinburgh and London.
To complement this, a new road will be created, linking the station to the M4, helping to ease traffic on the motorway and around Newport.
By May 2023, the service will be expanded so that it runs every hour, beginning its journey from Llanelli and use new Hitachi trains. The service would then stop at Swansea but unlike the Great Western Service which stops at Port Talbot and Bridgend, it would go straight through to Cardiff Central.
Passengers have been promised that they will be able to take advantage of an affordable service that can be accessed by all and for those who have to stand up, there will be a 50% discount. The firm is also looking to work with InterCity RailFreight to explore the option of transporting parcels which would include items for the NHS and food. This would mean that goods could be in London in less than two hours. InterCity RailFreight has been using passenger trains since 2013 to transport time-critical medical samples between the East Midlands and London. As a result, the firm will also create a parcel concentration hub, with the Severn Tunnel Junction being the ideal location once it has been through the required upgrade. A facility would also be required at the London end of the service but that could be located a short distance from the station.
On the whole, the service could change the way in which people travel and can make both London and Wales more accessible to many.