BREAKING NEWS ::: ::: Fishguard timetable goes live

Fishguard’s new rail timetable has been published – with no fanfare, and without any announcement from the Welsh Government or train companies.

National Rail Enquiries now carries details of the five extra daily services to and from Fishguard. Earlier today Fishguard Trains learnt that the Welsh Government’s preferred timetable has been officially validated by Network Rail. This is now confirmed as the times are now published online, and tickets are on sale for the new services.

As expected, the times are little changed from the draft put up for consultation by Welsh Government. One omission is the early morning “connecting” service from Carmarthen to Fishguard that involved a 1 hour 6 minute wait at Clarbeston Road. At least it is now clear that we are NOT getting five extra trains from Carmarthen to Fishguard, as promised by the former Transport Minister.

That said, what we are getting is much more than anyone in Pembrokeshire expected just five months ago. At last we have the official times, and now we can all start making our travel plans.

Fishguard Trains is pleased to be first to publish details of the official timetable, that runs from September 12th. All through services to and from Fishguard are shown in bold:

new new new ferry new new ferry
London (08:45) (12:45) (15:15) (20:15)
Cardiff (06:42) 10:57 15:14 (17:39) (22:26)
Swansea (07:50) (11:37) 16:40 (18:41) (23:45)
Carmarthen 05:50 (08:45)
17:35 (19:30) 00:46
Whitland 06:05

(08:59)

09:07

12:44 17:50 (19:46)
01:02
Clarbeston Road 06:20 07:34 09:22 18:05

(20:00)

20:05

01:15
Fishguard 06:44 07:58 09:46 13:25 18:34 20:30 01:42
Fishguard 06:53 08:04 09:56 13:30 19:00 20:50 01:50
Clarbeston Road 07:16
(07:28)
08:25 10:17

19:21

(19:31)

21:11 02:09
Whitland (07:41) 08:37 10:31 14:02 (19:44) 21:26 02:22
Carmarthen (07:55) 08:55 10:49
(11:04)
14:19
(14:31)
(20:00) 21:47 02:39
Swansea (08:49) 09:45 (11:51) (15:22) (20:47) (23:45) 03:29
Cardiff (09:46) 10:48 (12:47) 16:04 (21:50) (05:02)
London (12:02) (13:00) (15:08) (18:30) (07:35)
Cheltenham 17:35
Manchester (13:15) 14:15 (16:15)

14 Comments

Filed under News & weather, Timetables

14 Responses to BREAKING NEWS ::: ::: Fishguard timetable goes live

  1. Rambutan

    Well now there’s really no excuse for not visiting then!

  2. Swansea Jack

    It would seem to me that the vast majority of journey options, both for travellers from Fishguard and North Pembrokeshire, and visitors to Fishguard and North Pembrokeshire are provided for here.

    Some of the trains are not through to Carmarthen , but then we have a through service to Manchester using the modern class 175 trains which are among the newest and best in the UK, and an afternoon service through from Cardiff. That to me is far more useful than a Fishguard – Carmarthen shuttle, and provides for far more travel opportunities, especially for less mobile passengers and those with heavy luggage, pushchairs etc.

    I heartily applaud all those who have successfully returned a really useful train service to North Pembrokeshire, and hope that locals and visitors alike make full use of these services. many thanks to you all!!

    • Rhydgaled

      Not useful at all without Fishguard & Goodwick station if you don’t drive and can’t get a lift. I guess the walk from Goodwick to the harbour is nice and flat, so if the whether is fine it wouldn’t be too much of a chore. Also, since the last bus from Fishguard towards St Davids is 5:50pm there would still be no public transport access to the trains from the (admittedly very small) villages between Fishguard and St Davids, even with Fishguard & Goodwick station.

      Other than that, the service does look quite good for most journeys, although the huge afternoon gap is bound to be off-putting. If there will be available rolling stock (as I surmise there will) then we should try and get the promised 5th service from Carmarthen introduced to plug the afternoon gap, as well as getting a station that can be accessed by bus passengers. If I’m wrong and there isn’t a unit available then fair enough, the service we’ll be getting is probablly about the best that can be done (except for the very major issue with the station).

      Speaking of the station, the building was still there when I last visted. I wonder, is there still time to demolish it and take advantage of workers having possession of the line for almost 23hours in 24 to build the platform out to the track before September 12th? If not, and you want the station open in time, then I don’t think it matters if you demolish the building or preserve it. The temporary station options I can see (using the short stretch of the current platform that is within stepping distance or building a Workington North style scaffold platform beyond the existing platform) cannot use that end of the station anyway.

  3. Glen

    Great news for Fishguard. Now we need a Marina.

  4. Sarah

    Has anyone checked these times on National Rail Enquiries? When I put in journey options to Fishguard, the train arriving in Fishguard at 18.34 isn’t shown (but the other trains do seem to have been added). Is the 18.34 train still included in the timetable? For someone like me, who travels to Fishguard regularly to see family, this train would be one of the most useful journey options as it connects well to other trains. Thanks

    • Spad

      Sarah – you’re absolutely right. These times were all sourced from National Rail Enquiries, and we check them regularly too. And to our surprise the 15:14 from Cardiff to Fishguard arriving 18:34 has now disappeared. It is not shown on Arriva’s web times either. If this train really has been dropped, there will be more than a few questions for Arriva, Network Rail and Welsh Government. But for now, let’s just assume its a simple mistake. Fishguard Trains will be checking with all concerned as soon as they get back to their desks after bank holiday. Updates here as soon as available.
      And we agree with you that this service is one of the most important in the new timetable – a late afternoon/early evening through train from the capital to Fishguard. Hopefully it will be back on display (and on tickets on sale) before we have to make a fuss!

      • Rhydgaled

        Hopefully it will be back, yes. Maybe they are re-timing the Swanline service as was suggested back at the consultation? Being the old departure time, the publication of the service at 15:14 took me by suprise a little.

        Any word on Fishguard & Goodwick station? The tragic loss of the building can only be worthwhile if engineers can take advantage of the safer working enviroment to get that section of platform within reach of trains before the extra trains start. If they don’t do that, then demolision was pointless and perhaps those responcible should be made to pay for the replica if at all possible. Sorry to mention it again, but I can’t get it out of my head.

  5. Blocking Back

    Here’s what it says in the operational working timetable:

    Arrive Fishguard/Depart Fishguard

    0129hrs/0150hrs (NB there are some variable arrival times for this service on Mondays)
    0644hrs/0653hrs
    0758hrs/0804hrs
    0946hrs/0956hrs
    1325hrs/1330hrs
    1834hrs/1900hrs
    2030hrs/2050hrs

    I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the 1834hrs arrival has been binned.

    • Swansea Jack

      The 18:34 arrival has certainly not been binned. I understand that attempts to move the 15:14 departure time from Cardiff to a better 15:30 which would improve connections from the East and reduce the 20 minute wait at Swansea en-route were not successful due to conflicting trains at Cardiff which in effect only has two Westbound platforms available. I also understand that it is hoped to improve the situation in the December timetable change if possible.

      Remember, the Fishguard additional services have had to be overlaid on existing services which ideally have to remain unchanged, this then makes it difficult to slot in additional services that were not expected when the current May to December 2011 timetable was drawn up in 2010. Capacity pinch-points like Cardiff, Swansea, the Gowerton single line section and Carmarthen were always going to be difficult in such circumstances.

      Three though services from Cardiff and two through services to Cardiff, one of which continues to Manchester, the other for Cheltenham is an absolutely brilliant outcome overall.

      The mini-bus until the end of September when the regular service can start (Traffic Commissioner licences etc) is much appreciated – well done to all at PCC for facilitating this.

      The next piece of the jigsaw is of course (Fishguard &) Goodwick station, so it is great to see progress happening on the site clearance. It is great to see everyone working together in the Premier county to show other parts of the UK how co-operation can progress schemes like this one!

      Roll on Monday – I’ll be on the 05:50 Carmarthen to Fishguard into the Harbour all being well.

  6. Penfro grease monkey

    As of Saturday 10th of September the ‘Trainline ‘ (supposedly cheaper than National rail enquiries) website firmly states that there are 2 trains a day from Fishguard 1.50 and 13.30. That is for a journey in October, when the timetable should be well established. Not a good start.

    • Spad

      We’ve followed up your comment, but can’t find the error you report on the Trainline, which seems to have the new service. Sunday trains are of course still unchanged. What specific journey details give you the error? Better still, why not use the most complete timetable for Fishguard, right here on Fishguard Trains.

    • Rhydgaled

      Not great at all. Is the ommission just for a particular day or days in October or for the whole month? The full details of the problem need to be passed to the relevant authorities and hopefully they’ll get it fixed quickly.

      If I remember rightly, the National Rail enquiries website doesn’t sell tickets and directs you to one of the train company websites (many of which use the Trainline’s software, East Coast being on of the exceptions) to buy the tickets. The Trainline website will charge you a booking fee, the train operator websites (even the ones using the Trainline’s software) shouldn’t. Therefore, buying tickets from the Trainline website is actually more expensive. The savings claimed in their adverts are from buying booked-train-only ‘advance’ tickets (also available, without the booking fee, on the train operator websites) rather than walk-up tickets (which can also be purchased online, at the same price as on the station or train on the day).

      To get the cheapest fare, you have to choose the right website (some train operators occasionaly give an additional discount for buying tickets for their trains on their website, and if you want a GroupSave ticket (not accepted by Arriva’s two franchises anyway) not all the websites will give you that option).

      A ticket machine to allow collection of advance purchase tickets would save us north-Pembs passengers money. Last time I booked tickets online, the only option the website provided for postage was special delivery at, I think, £6 and it wasn’t clear (thankfully figured it out in the end, so it wasn’t too bad) how you could buy tickets for the different legs of my journey at once to save paying the special delivery charge seperately for each ticket).

  7. Swansea Jack

    Ticket machines are an issue. At present the nearest one is at Carmarthen, and although ATW have a rolling programme Haverfordwest doesn’t seem to be a particular priority at present, leave alone any other Pembrokeshire stations. This is an issue as it does increase costs for advance purchase tickets which include the cheapest, specific train advance tickets.

    Passengers should also be aware of the Pembrokeshire Railcard, which for a cost of £5 per annum will give you 34% off tickets as far East as Swansea. In reality it pays for itself after 1 trip to Swansea form the extremities of Pembrokeshire, and are certainly worth considering. Details here http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/promotions/pr2558f31d4a433bb31aebed6d79ab7e/details.html or http://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/content.asp?nav=838,1629,846,849&parent_directory_id=646&id=20204&textonly=true.

    As far as the trainline site, it should work off the same database as all the other sites, including National Rail Enquiries so this does sound surprising. There are still going to be only the two boat trains on Sundays as mentioned above, but I have been unable to find the same error on any of the weekdays in October. I believe there are some dates in October that feature engineering work West of Cardiff but this shouldn’t cause the problem highlighted. If you could provide further details over the issue it would help, and the relevant authorities can be advised accordingly.

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