Back to the future in South Wales? InterCity swallow livery No 91119 with Mk 4s at Stoke tunnel, Lincolnshire, on a York to King’s Cross working on 22 June 2019. Grand Union is proposing such formations for an initial Cardiff service before bi-modes take over and the service is extended to Llanelli.
Paul Clark

GRAND UNION Trains has revised its proposal to operate a new open access service between London and South Wales.

In April the company, led by former Alliance Rail Managing Director Ian Yeowart, proposed an hourly service between London and Cardiff using Class 91s hauling nine Mk 4 coaches and a driving van trailer (p11, April issue). In a revised submission dated 10 July, Grand Union now plans an initial service every two hours between Cardiff Central and London Paddington, calling at Newport, Severn Tunnel Junction and Bristol Parkway. The first service would leave Cardiff at 06.35, arriving at Paddington at 08.20, with the first down service at 08.35 arriving in Cardiff at 10.20. Services would operate every two hours until a last departure from Cardiff at 18.35 and Paddington at 20.35.

This initial service would then be increased to hourly and extended from Cardiff to call at Bridgend, Port Talbot Parkway, Neath, Swansea, Gowerton and Llanelli, with further extension to Carmarthen under consideration. Timings of the extended service would be subject to further development.

The intended start date for the service is May 2021, and while the initial service would use Class 91s with up to nine coaches and a DVT, for the extended service Grand Union is proposing nine-car Class 802s.