GWR has announced the return of popular summer services to Pembroke Dock and 65 new direct services between Carmarthen and London in the biggest shake-up of railway timetables since the introduction of Intercity Express Trains.

Following an extensive review to give those travelling the right services at the times they wish to travel, the new timetable will deliver almost a 5% increase in train services every day across the GWR network.  

As part of this, GWR is to introduce 65 additional direct services between Carmarthen and London Paddington, extending previous trains beyond Swansea. 

The new additional, direct services to Carmarthen will call at Llanelli, Pembrey and Burry Port, and will mean two hourly services with additional weekday departures at:  

  • Carmarthen to London: 09.27; 11.27; 14.24; 16.19; 18.18; 20.30 (to Bristol Parkway)  
  • London to Carmarthen: 06.48; 09.48; 11.48; 13.48; 15.48  

And additional Saturday departures at:  

  • Carmarthen to London: 09.32; 13.25; 15:28; 17.20; 19.19 (to Swansea)  
  • London to Carmarthen: 06.48, 08.48, 10.48, 12.48, 14.48  

The popular summer services to Pembroke Dock will also return for the first time since Covid, with four services a day between May and September.

Welcoming the new train services Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: 

“We are committed to improving rail services in West Wales, therefore the news that GWR are extending their existing Swansea services through to Llanelli, Pembrey & Burry Port, and Carmarthen, an increase of 65 direct services to and from Bristol and London every week, is very welcome. 

“The introduction of more rail services is an important part of our plan to boost sustainable transport, making the right choice, the easy one: leaving the car at home and instead, catching a train.” 

Further afield, 44 additional train services every day will serve the wider Bristol area. 

The changes will help deliver on long-planned ambitions across the network and will see around 20% of all trains retimed to better suit passenger needs, providing greater value for money for taxpayers and leaner and greener travel options on public transport. 

GWR Managing Director Mark Hopwood said: 

“I am really excited to say that this new timetable provides the biggest shake-up in service levels since the introduction of Intercity Express trains – providing more trains where they are needed most and reflecting changes in travel patterns.  

“We will deliver more train services, serving even more stations, and providing greater value for money for taxpayers.”

This includes changes to London and Thames Valley services, bringing greater connectivity with Elizabeth Line destinations; the further enhancements as part of the MetroWest scheme, doubling GWR services between Gloucester and Bristol, and adding an extra train an hour between Westbury and Bristol. 

The number of GWR services on an average weekday will increase from 1643 in May 2019 to 1720 in May 2023. 

Passengers will also benefit from carbon reductions from changes in the type of train used on some routes. 

Detailed service changes are now available in online journey planners and through GWR’s Journey Check service  and those used to catching a specific train should check their journey in advance.