In March 2000 the UK government announced plans to create a separate Wales & Borders franchise. In October 2001 the two National Express operated franchises, Valley Lines and Wales & West, were reorganised with Wales & Borders taking responsibility for most services in Wales as shown on its map. The services from Birmingham New Street to Chester, Aberystwyth, and Pwllheli operated by Central Trains were also transferred.
On 28 September 2003 the services from Birmingham New Street, Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly to Llandudno and Holyhead as well as those between Bidston and Wrexham Central and Llandudno and Blaenau Ffestiniog, operated by First North Western, were transferred to the new Wales & Borders franchise.
On 1 August 2003 the Strategic Rail Authority awarded Arriva the new franchise. The new franchise was for fifteen years with performance reviews every five years; Arriva Trains Wales took over the services operated by Wales & Borders on 7 December 2003. The next five-yearly review period concludes on 31 March 2013.
Read more about this topic: Arriva Trains Wales
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