Updated: Feb 26
One of the new Mark 4 trains
Transport for Wales will be raising awareness of Hope House Children’s Hospices and two other charities on new trains that will be travelling through Shropshire this year. Three sets of modern Mark 4 carriages are being introduced on Cardiff-Holyhead services, taking in stations in the county. These will include the “Gerald of Wales” Premier Services which, the train company says, will give travellers an intercity experience.
As part of the distinctive branding of the trains, each of the end carriages – known as the Driving Van Trailers, will feature a livery promoting a charity. The first two will be Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and Ty Gobaith/Hope House Children’s Hospice. For the third charity, TfW ran a public poll to choose between three nominated charities: Mind Cymru, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and Wales Air Ambulance
The poll ran until February 17 on Twitter.
James Price, Transport for Wales chief executive, said: “The introduction of new rolling stock to our fleet is always a landmark moment, but I’m delighted that we are making it a little more special by using this as an opportunity to celebrate and promote the great work that our leading charities do. This is particularly important during this challenging time when so many people are reliant on the support that these charities provide. It will undoubtedly be a very competitive poll, and all three nominated charities will be worthy winners. I wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”
When the results were counted and analysed, it was found that the RNLI had come out on top with nearly half of the 3,625 votes cast on Twitter, to finish ahead of its fellow charities. With other worthy charities in the running for the opportunity to dress a carriage, the RNLI was overwhelmed with the support of the public in throwing a lifeline and registering their vote. The Twitter poll was open for just one week and the RNLI was thrilled to win the chance to share vital safety messages at key stations across Wales every time the new Premier Class train travels from Holyhead to Cardiff.
Nick Evans, RNLI Fundraising and Partnership Lead said: ‘The RNLI is absolutely delighted to have won the public vote to have one of TfW’s new Mark 4 carriages wrapped in our branding. We’re hoping to use the opportunity to deliver key beach safety messages to the public as they visit the coast this summer to ensure the Welsh coast is a safe place for all. Our design team will now get to work on drawing up the final design, which will communicate some of the RNLI’s vital safety messages.
Transport for Wales will be introducing Mark 4 carriages on Cardiff-Holyhead services from the May timetable change. These will replace the older Mark 3 carriages which currently operate on a limited number of services.