Eastbound from Fishguard on Spring Bank Holiday

7 mins too lateThe national rail strike is off – but can you travel east from Fishguard this Spring Bank Holiday evening? Visitors to Fishguard for the bank holiday are wondering if they can get home despite the cancelled strike.

The problem: National Rail Enquiries shows that on Spring Bank Holiday evening, the only train from Fishguard that connects to Cardiff, Bristol and Crewe is running seven minutes later than timetabled, at 19:18 instead of 19:11 from Fishguard and Goodwick. The result is a missed connection at Clarbeston Road. The Fishguard train is due at Clarbeston at 19:37, two minutes AFTER the train from Milford to Cardiff leaves at 19:35.

This is nonsense for two reasons: There’s no point running the shuttle from Fishguard to connect with the long distance train at Clarbeston, but then timing it so it misses the connection by two minutes. Second reason it’s nonsense: the set up of points, signals and single line working at Clarbeston means it is impossible for two eastbound trains to follow each other at only two minutes interval. So what’s going on?

Fishguard Trains asked Arriva Trains Wales. They checked and told us “you’ve caught us out good and proper on this one. We didn’t rejig”. Somehow train times had been amended in light of the impending strike, but not put back after its cancellation. They’re doing that job now, thanks to our query.

But what time should passengers be at the station in Fishguard? Arriva advises “Be at the Harbour or Fishguard and Goodwick at the normal time” – that’s 19:08 from Fishguard Harbour, 19:11 from Fishguard and Goodwick.

You heard it here first.

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