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FAQ

Please click the questions to reveal the answer. We also have a range of FAQs that have been published in Pillar Talk which can also be downloaded here:

Pillar Talk 13/07/18 - Featuring FAQs from TfW

Pillar Talk 27/07/18 - Featuring FAQs from Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive Transport for Rail Services

Leadership

What is the organisational structure? All staff will be transferred across to the new franchise with their existing T&Cs. There maybe some changes in the future to the organisation depending on Keolis Amey's commitments in the new contract.

Will the new decision makers please come out with staff on a “walk in the shoes / back to the coal face / real life job shadowing” basis? We will be considering a full programme of colleague engagement as a part of our plans for the future. This may include activities such as job shadowing/ 'walk in my shoes' and details will be shared once the programme has been fully defined.

Ongoing updates

If I have a question, who do I contact? Please email talktous@arrivatw.co.uk where you will be guaranteed a personal reply

How to stay informed? Look out for regular updates via our Internal Communications channels including Yammer, Pillar Talk, Employee Briefs and posters on notice boards. You can also visit the Transport for Wales and Keolis Amey websites for the latest information: http://tfw.gov.wales and http://www.keolisamey.cymru

I am unclear about this change – what is happening? After a competitive procurement process, overseen by the Welsh Government's at arm's length transport body, Transport of Wales, the joint venture partners of French transport giant Keolis and leading infrastructure management consultancy Amey, have been chosen to run the next Wales & Borders franchise and deliver the next phase of the Metro project with electrification of the core Valley Lines into Cardiff. 

Are there going to be colleague roadshows? Yes. We are currently planning a number of roadshows which will take place right across the network. Please keep a close eye on internal communications channels for further details.

Contract Award

What is the official transfer date? 02:00 14th October 2018.

What are the franchise commitments and deliverables? The contents of the winning bid have been widely published on the Transport for Wales website with a list of key deliverables according to location together with timescales. We recommend you visit their website at http://tfw.gov.wales for details. KA will also be sharing some more information around the key deliverables with you via pillar talk.

What are the new terms and conditions? All staff will be transferred across to the new franchise with their existing T&Cs.

Are we having a potential franchise extension? The deadline for any franchise extension decision has now passed and therefore we do not believe this will happen. We are now working collaboratively with KA and TfW to ensure the mobilisation is as smooth and successful as possible for everyone.

Who's won and why? After a competitive procurement process, overseen by the Welsh Government's at arm's length transport body, Transport of Wales, the joint venture partners of French transport giant Keolis and leading infrastructure management consultancy Amey, have been chosen to run the next Wales & Borders franchise and deliver the next phase of the Metro project with electrification of the core Valley Lines into Cardiff.  

What are the committed obligations? Committed obligations (COs) are commitments by the winning bidder on what they promise to do in the new franchise. COs will more than likely have a delivery date, targets and financial penalties if the dates or targets are missed. More information will be shared over the next few weeks.

What is the length of the new contract? It is 15 years with a possible extension of two more years. A contract of this length makes possible greater investment into rolling stock and other expensive items which would not be affordable under a shorter arrangement.

My Job

Have I got a job? Yes absolutely. All Arriva Trains Wales staff will transfer to the new franchise.

What is TUPE? TUPE is a set of regulations which protect employees in circumstances where the ownership of a business or part of a business is transferred, and where that business consists of an economic entity or grouping which retains its identity after the transfer. It can also apply in certain circumstances to outsourcing, bringing services in house and the transfer of a franchise.

What happens to the employees? TUPE is a set of regulations which protect employees in circumstances where the ownership of a business or part of a business is transferred, and where that business consists of an economic entity or grouping which retains its identity after the transfer. It can also apply in certain circumstances to outsourcing, bringing services in house and the transfer of a franchise.

What does this mean for me? Your length of service will continue unaffected and the new employer is bound to honour all contractual obligations, such as pay, holidays and hours. If you have booked leave, for example, you do not need to book it again.

So, nothing changes? If the new employer envisages any changes, they need to discuss this with you in advance. The law is aimed to protect jobs and terms and conditions.

What information will we get, and when? The law requires the incoming employer to inform the representatives of those affected of their plans in good time before the transfer. The incoming employer will be keen to get to know the business and those who work in it and the executive team are currently working with and developing relationships with representatives of Keolis Amey.

What if I don’t want to transfer? No one can force you to transfer, but remember, your job is protected by the regulations. If you object to the transfer, you must advise your HR team in writing. If you do this, you will be deemed to have resigned. You would not be redundant in such circumstances.

When will I learn more? We will continue to update you as and when we have news. Keep a close eye on internal communications channels for updates.

Where can I raise issues or concerns in the meantime? You can contact the HR department or email talktous@arrivataw.co.uk

How is my job affected? There is currently no indication if or how job roles will be affected.

What happens on day 1? There will be no change on day one. Our aim is to achieve a smooth handover from ATW and for our customers to experience a good service. So, we want everyone to do everything as normal. Where we can’t avoid changes to what you do on Day One, we’ll make sure you’re informed well in advance. We’ve already been working collaboratively with the management team at ATW to ensure as smooth a transition as possible.

What happens on year 1?The first year, starting in October 2018, is going to be an exciting time and a period of transition as we prepare to introduce a number of changes – some will be quite ground-breaking while others will be smaller but nevertheless important.
We hope you’ll be pleased to hear that some of the big changes over the first few years will include  rolling stock upgrades, branding, uniforms, accommodation, train presentation and fares improvements.
Many of you will be involved in making these positive changes happen and we’ll build on all the good work that you and ATW have done over the last few years.
We also know that many of you will have some good ideas about how we can make improvements, which add to our plans, and we want to hear your ideas.
We want to work with you effectively to understand how you think we can do things better, and to encourage you to think about doing the things you currently do better as well as about introducing new ideas. 


Will there be job losses which we may know about at this point? As previously announced, there will be no compulsory redundancies for the whole period of the new contract.

Are there redundancy options available? There are currently no redundancy options available.

Who wants to? Can I? How do I retire in October 2018 There is no statutory retirement age and individuals determine when they leave the business by resignation.

What happens on the final day of the current franchise? No change. It will be business as usual.

What is the provision for training / sponsorship? You can still apply and you will be considered for any training or sponsorship as normal.

Who will I report to/my new manager? Unless advised otherwise the structure will remain the same and you will continue to report to the same Manager.

Will we have to learn Welsh? We’ll encourage the use of the Welsh language and will support all staff who wish to learn. However, it won’t be compulsory for you to learn Welsh.

What does my new uniform look like? How do I get measured and collect it? We know that you are keen to find out how the uniform will look and we can tell you that the uniform will most likely carry the Transport for Wales brand identity, and not necessarily Keolis Amey colours as some have suggested. However at this point in time we do not have any further information.

Will my mobile no/login change? It is unlikely that your mobile number will change but if this is the case it will be communicated at the time.

New culture/values etc Now that Keolis Amey has been selected as the preferred bidder we will in the forthcoming months be able to bring you further information on important aspects such as culture and values. In the meantime you can find out about Keolis Amey on their website at http://www.keolisamey.cymru

How long is the new franchise? The new franchise is 15 years.

Will there be any staff increases or redundancies? There will be no compulsory redundancies throughout the whole of the new contract. Keolis Amey and Transport for Wales have already announced the creation of an additional 600 jobs as well as an additional 30 apprentices per year over the course of the contract.

When will we get an opportunity to meet with you? We’re currently working with ATW to arrange a full programme of engagement opportunities, including face-to-face meetings and roadshows, as we want to give you the opportunity to hear about some of our transformation  plans and ideas.  We also want to understand your concerns, feedback and ideas first hand.  We’ll let you know details of these plans shortly. 

When will the new senior management team be in place and when we get the chance to meet them? We hope to update you on any changes to the senior management team as well as proposed organisation charts and reporting lines in September 2018. Once the senior management team is in place they’ll be actively engaging with colleagues right across the business.  

What will happen to those staff who are currently off work long-term? ATW will confirm details of staff that are off work long-term. You’ll then be invited to information sessions but these will be arranged to suit you – for example, by phone. You’ll transfer to us in the same way as all other employees. If you haven’t returned to work by the date of transfer then we’ll support you back to work in line with the current policies and procedures.

What happens if I am scheduled to be off work for maternity, paternity or adoption leave?  The transfer will not affect your maternity, shared parental or adoption pay and benefits. ATW will provide details of your expected leave dates and can confirm a role for you in line with employment legislation upon your return.

Is there going to be a reorganisation?  We have an ambitious plan to transform rail service in Wales, which will create opportunities. We expect to recruit around 600 more staff. We may be a need to align our organisation in future to achieve this transformation. We aren’t planning many changes on Day One, and any changes we need to make for Day One will be covered by the TUPE process. As our future plans become firmer we’ll share them with you  and consult with your trades unions.  

What additional training will be available?  We’ll be transforming rail services in Wales and the borders in the coming years. There’ll be many exciting changes, such as the introduction of new trains for which training will be developed as we begin the process of bringing them into use on our network. We’ll be working with you to understand your precise training needs to understand how best to equip you to deliver your role.

If there is any training needed for day one of the KA franchise how will this be facilitated?  There is training planned in the initial stages of the new rail service. This will focus primarily on induction to the organisation. There will be a focus on awareness of customer needs, building on some of the training which colleagues may have already received. In the initial years of the rail service, the organisation will be working with everyone to understand what training needs they may have and how they can be supported in terms of their own development.

Any more thoughts on where the training department will be based after SDH is knocked down? Heard rumours of Callaghan Square? We are continuing to work through detailed plans regarding accommodation for all our teams and facilities follow Day 1. News of this will be shared as soon as details are confirmed.

When will we start to see TfW branding appear? You will see the new TfW branding on the new uniform items that we’ll issue you with for Day 1. We are also starting the process of debranding ATW trains and stations shortly. We are currently in discussion with TfW to identify opportunities to start deploying their brand where appropriate. This may start before the end of the current franchise. The full launch of the brand is planned to take place on Day 1, and colleagues will be provided full details of this in the run up to the start of the new service.

TfW are advertising for roles that already exist within ATW on their website, particularly in marcoms (brand, comms, media, stakeholder, social media etc.). Are these additional roles that TfW are creating and how, if at all, they will affect or interact with roles within the TOC or ODP? Transport for Wales is responsible for delivering the Welsh Government’s vision of a high-quality, safe, integrated, affordable and accessible transport network.
Transport for Wales is currently advertising for a range of roles, including communications roles, as it grows as an organisation.
These new roles will sit within the Authority and will complement and work alongside those similar roles within ATW that will TUPE across to Transport for Wales Rail Services. It is important to remember that everyone will TUPE over on Day 1 and that there will be no compulsory redundancies for the entire length of the new 15 year service. The consultation process around TUPE is already underway. 

My Pay & Benefits

Pensions/Salary/Job security? Individuals will transfer on their current terms and conditions.

Will the next franchise commit to my current pension entitlements and BRASS payments? Can they change these? Individuals will transfer on their current terms and conditions.

What happens with leave (pro rata) Current leave provisions would apply.

What will our terms and conditions be? All staff will be transferred across to the new franchise with their existing T&Cs.

Can the next franchise change/reduce my current annual leave entitlement? If the new owner wanted to make changes to existing terms and conditions they would have to consult with the recognised trade unions.

Will I keep my travel benefits? Those in possession of ATW specific passes which includes retired colleagues will retain passes until franchise end. Safeguarded employees will continue to receive their boxes as per RDG rules. We hope to be able to clarify which benefits will come in following discussions with them and Transport for Wales Rail Services.

Will I get paid? Are my nursery vouchers/cycle to work scheme valid? Pay arrangements will continue as normal. The nursery vouchers are government led initiatives and this provision will continue in line with government guidance and/or changes. We are currently unable to offer the cycle to work scheme this year as we transfer over to the new franchisee due to administrative difficulties.

Can existing pensions be brought in - are these new schemes or existing? The pensions rules closed down the option of transferring in outside pensions in 2005.

Can you provide copies of pension rules / valuation / deficit and face to face pension providers? You will need to obtain specific informaiton about your pension from RPMI. However, if you have any further questions, please contact HR or email talktous@arrivatw.co.uk.

What is happening with pensions? Pension contributions are reviewed annually and will continue as part of our pension scheme valuation process. Your pensions will remain in the Railway pension scheme. The current ATW section will be renamed to reflect KeolisAmey as the franchise partner.

Will bridging loans be available? Any requirements for bridging loans should be discussed with the HR department.

What is going to be the first pay date? We expect there to be no change in terms of payroll dates. All issues that may impact our people will be discussed with the new operator when they are announced and communicated as soon as information is available.

When is the holiday period - Jan to Dec? We expect there to be no change in terms of holiday periods. All issues that may impact our people will be discussed with the new operator when they are announced and communicated as soon as information is available.

What is your proposal for overtime and on-call? This forms part of terms and conditions that will transfer across under TUPE.

Are existing pay negotiations going to be impacted? We will undertake the negotiations on pay through the normal discussion process with the approval of the Department for Transport and the usual arragements for pay talks between ATW and the trade unions will continue. Going forward future discussions will be with Keolis Amey.  

Who/When/What will be based at the new HQ? Do I have to work in Pontypridd? Construction has started on an office in Pontypridd. We are aware that the intention is that potentially some transport staff may be located there. It will be up to Keolis Amey to submit their proposal on what this would look like and how this may impact on our people.

Will Cardiff Central and its station staff transfer to the ownership of Network Rail? We are not aware of any transfer and have not had any indication of ownership of any locations changing to either NR or other operators.

Will English depots and stations be in or out of the current franchise We are not aware of any transfer and have not had any indication of ownership of any locations changing to either NR or other operators.

Where do I put the keys? You should continue to operate as normal.

Will we continue to use existing vehicles for work/personal use? Once the winning bidder is announced we can start engaging and understand the transition process which will look at these arrangements.

Will there be any changes to out-of-hours cover, company vehicle allocation, working hours etc?  We’re aiming for as little change as possible on Day One and a smooth handover from ATW. We are, though, reviewing all assets and transfers with ATW and will update you about any proposed changes.

What is happening with St David’s House accommodationWe are planning a move to new accommodation very close to Cardiff Central Station, but in the meantime we’re negotiating a short extension to the current lease on St David’s House.
We’ll consult with you and your trade unions to develop these plans.

If protected staff transfer directly to TfW and not KA, will they keep their BR travel facilities as they won't be a TOC? There are no current plans to transfer ATW employees to our client Transport for Wales Rail Services.

Has reciprocal travel been arranged with any other transport providers such as Arriva bus post franchise change? The current arrangement in place with Arriva will not transfer whilst we will look for opportunities across other KeolisAmey contracts for subsidised travel, however this is still to be confirmed.

Will my payroll number change? KA will keep all payroll systems currently in place to ensure a smooth handover of the operation therefore payroll numbers will stay the same.

What is profit share and how will it work? The full details of this scheme will be developed in consultation with colleagues and TUs. There are commitments in our agreement for colleagues to share in the success of our business where profit targets are exceeded, and we will develop this alongside other forms of colleague recognition in more detail within the first few months of the launch of the new rail service.

Will CAF recognise the RMT? We will work with them to ensure they understand the current working relationships with our trade union partners and the importance of maintaining this.

Will we have free travel across the whole TfW network? Yes. Details of this will be announced as a part of the development of the full package of benefits for colleagues.

How will K/A, WAG and TfW deal with pension pot deficits? Our latest pension valuation showed a surplus, although pensions are complicated in terms of how they are valued and managed. Ensuring that our pension is well managed to the benefit of all members will remain a key focus. The Pensions Committee, which is made up of management and front line colleagues who help make decisions that are in the best interests of the pension scheme, will continue to ensure visibility of this.

Will our Pension Matching AVC’s still be taken forward when the franchise takes over from ATW? Yes, pension matching AVCs will be transferred as a part of the TUPE process. Practically, all this means is that there will be no change other than the name of the section within the scheme to reflect your new employer.

Can Health, Safety and Welfare Reps from all departments be used as part of the decision making for the new Facilities and Uniform?We are working closely with our trade union partners to gather feedback on the new facilities. We are close to confirming the final arrangements and are grateful for feedback received so far from our representatives. It is important that we undertake a full and thorough consultation on the development of our new uniform, and all colleagues will be invited to contribute to this, either by participating personally in the consultation or by sharing feedback with their representatives.

Are there plans for Office facilities to be made available for all Union Reps such as Company Council, LDC and separately H&S Reps the same as we have available at SDH?We can commit that there will be facilities available for Trade Unions in our new accommodation plans. We are considering the full requirement for Trade Union Offices/Facilities as we work on the detail and are also considering the feedback we have received. We expect to communicate the final outcome of this process shortly.

As a frequent user of the Arriva Village, will all cashback and vouchers etc need to be claimed/used by October 14th?The Arriva village will be closed to us from the 14th October so now is the time to claim your cashback. Read the full details here. We are working to identify a full package of wider benefits for colleagues which will be communicated shortly.

My Working Hours

Would you foresee any changes to the train service timetable either at the start of the new franchise or at the following timetable change date? This is a possibility. Arriva Trains Wales will bid for the December 2018 timetable and when the winning bid is announced there maybe a requirement to change it depending on what has been committed to. We have been in with discussion TfW to understand what their aspirations are in this respect.

How is on-call going to work? On call is likely to remain. Any changes will be communicated as a part of the franchise mobilisation. All issues that may impact our people will be discussed with the new operator when they are announced and communicated as soon as information is available.

Our Trains

What trains will we have? Are we getting any new trains? Keolis Amey have committed to investing £738m to transform the valley lines to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Coryton, electrifying 172 km of track and upgrading infrastructure to enable improved journey times and more trains every hour. From 2023, an £800m investment will ensure that 95% of journeys are on new trains. More than half those trains will be assembled in Wales. A new rolling stock strategy has been identified and consists of various solutions for different parts of the network.

Will there be more trains/less overcrowding to make my job easier? In the winning bid Keolis Amey has committed to providing a step change in passenger comfort and capacity throughout the network. Details of key changes to service provision can be viewed on the Keolis Amey website.

Will we be running trams? Articulated Metro vehicles that can be coupled to form 80m trains have been identified for Treherbert/Aberdare/Merthyr Tydfil with a main power source of 25kV with an overhead line which also operates from battery. These will be capable of on street line of sight ‘tramway’ operation. Tri-Mode trains for Rhymney/Coryton and Penarth/Barry/Bridgend with battery and diesel engine have also been identified.

Will there be wires on the Valleys Articulated Metro vehicles that can be coupled to form 80m trains have been identified for Treherbert/Aberdare/Merthyr Tydfil with a main power source of 25kV with an overhead line which also operates from battery. These will be capable of on street line of sight ‘tramway’ operation. Tri-Mode trains for Rhymney/Coryton and Penarth/Barry/Bridgend with battery and diesel engine have also been identified.

Where will the new trains be maintained? Stadler FLIRT units will be maintained in Canton depot alongside other fleets like Class 170 units and Mk4 coaches. Stadler Citylink tram-trains will be maintained in a dedicated, newly built depot in Taffs Well. CAF units will be maintained in Machynlleth and Chester.

What will happen to current fleet staff who are employed by Arriva Trains Wales? All ATW employees, including currently employed fleet colleagues will TUPE over to Keolis Amey on Day 1.

Who will be maintaining the fleet of trains on Day 1? We are committed to continue to maintain rolling stock at the current locations and all ATW employees will transfer over on Day 1. Newly built rolling stock is not expected to arrive until 2022 and 2023.

When will we start to see TfW branding appear? You will see the new TfW branding on the new uniform items that we’ll issue you with for Day 1. We are also starting the process of debranding ATW trains and stations shortly. We are currently in discussion with TfW to identify opportunities to start deploying their brand where appropriate. This may start before the end of the current franchise. The full launch of the brand is planned to take place on Day 1, and colleagues will be provided full details of this in the run up to the start of the new service.

Our Staff & Operations

Will it be DOD on the Metro? The announcement by Carwyn Jones will help understand TfW commitments. You can read the full announcement here; http://gov.wales/newsroom/transport/2017/59297378/?lang=en

What happens to the ATW staff that are funded by NR?All staff with Arriva Trains Wales contracts will be TUPE'd to the new operator.

What is the plan for introducing new trains? Will we be involved? We’ll be replacing every train.  This is a big job that will require a lot of planning before we bring them into service which is why we can share outline details of our plans with you.

Will depot capacity be increased? The good news is that we are replacing every train and increasing the number of trains. We’re also going to be employing more staff.
We need to make sure that we provide our customers with the best levels of service and our aim is to locate our trains and other resources in the best place to achieve this aim.
We realise that this information is important to you, and once we have more detailed plans to share with you we’ll work with both the colleagues involved and their trades unions.
We want to work in partnership with those of you who are directly involved with operating trains as well as your trades unions. We value your knowledge and expertise and want to make the most of it to develop robust training and operational procedures. 

How will depots based in England work? We don’t envisage that they’ll operate significantly differently from those located in Wales.

Are there any changes planned for the Operational Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? We’re currently developing a number of different KPIs which we’ll put in place from Day One. We’ll keep you updated about any changes in our future communications.

What is Network Rail’s involvement and responsibility going forward We’ll be forming an alliance with Network Rail and working in partnership to deliver our obligations and improve performance of the Wales route.
The ownership of the Core Valleys Lines are will transfer to Transport for Wales in late 2019. KeolisAmey will then maintain these lines in addition to transforming the service.

What about changes to uniforms for the start of the new franchise? There will be a brand new uniform and this will be decided by TfW.

Will my uniform change? Your uniform won’t change on Day One. We might make some small changes to branding such as name badges and ties, but you’ll continue to use your current uniform for a while to give us time to develop a new uniform.
We’re keen to involve you in the design of your new uniform. We want to make the right decisions and create a uniform that you’re proud to wear.
There’s quite a long lead-time on uniform purchase and we hope to have your new uniforms available in the first year.

Are you going to be changing the branding?Your uniform won’t change on Day One. We might make some small changes to branding such as name badges and ties, but you’ll continue to use your current uniform for a while to give us time to develop a new uniform.
We’re keen to involve you in the design of your new uniform. We want to make the right decisions and create a uniform that you’re proud to wear.
There’s quite a long lead-time on uniform purchase and we hope to have your new uniforms available in the first year.

DOO - Will there be DOO and will it affect my depot? At this point we are unaware of what will be in the winning bid. The announcement by Carwyn Jones will help understand TfW commitments. You can read the full announcement here; http://gov.wales/newsroom/transport/2017/59297378/?lang=en

How long is the new franchise? We understand that the new franchise is 15 years.

Will tools, equipment, PPE  be provided? Yes. You will have all the equipment you need in order to deliver you role safely and effectively.

How are you going to manage Logistics - Health & Safety - risk assessments / method statements, etc? We should continue as business as usual.

Will there be any staff increases or redundancies? The winning bid has committed to creating an additional 600 new jobs together with 30 apprentices per year for each year of the franchise. In addition it is reported that there are plans for Keolis to bring it's headquarters into Wales creating an additional 130 positions.

Which unions will you recognise? We’ll work in partnership with the trades unions currently recognised by ATW.

What does this change mean for existing suppliers and sub-contractors? ATW works with a wide range of suppliers and we’re working with ATW to build relationships with these suppliers. We’ll make sure that arrangements are in place to cover all sub-contracted activities from Day One. This may mean that we extend existing contracts, agree new contracts with existing suppliers, or possibly re-tender for some contracts. We want to ensure that we have a smooth handover on Day One.

How will operations on Day 1 differ? There will be no change to Day 1 operations.

Will staff still get access to the KA internal vacancy list as they do today? Yes, we are very keen that this continues

Where will the control teams be based? There are currently no plans to change the arrangements for control in the short term. Future potential changes may be considered, such as some functions moving to Taffs Well, but any changes will be discussed through the normal consultation processes.

What are the arrangements with cleaning contracts? The majority of existing contracts will novate (transfer) over in the first instance and it is expected that cleaning contracts will also be included in this process.

Will train simulators be incorporated into plans for any change in location for the training team? The full plans for St David's are currently in the final stages of being agreed, and the provision for training has been fully considered as a part of this solution, including the location of simulators. We envisage that the details around what will be in place will be announced imminently.

If the SW mainline is staying with NR, what are the arrangements around track maintenance and signalling? There are no plans to change the current partnership arrangement with NR in terms of maintenance and signalling of the South Wales Mainline.

What is the plan to enhance services on the Maesteg and Ebbw Vale lines? In the Cabinet Secretary’s Oral Statement on 4 June, which refers to the Maesteg and Ebbw lines, he stated: “The flexible solution we are buying will allow us to immediately explore infrastructure enhancements to enable further services to be introduced on the Maesteg and Ebbw lines. Our ambition is to grow Ebbw services to four trains per hour by 2024, and we have instructed Transport for Wales to work with the ODP to present to us options for delivering this. There is a different challenge in meeting Metro service levels on the Maesteg line since it has always been a single-track railway, but we have similarly asked Transport for Wales to present options for innovative solutions that meet the needs of local people.”

What are the plans for sourcing rail replacement services during disruption? The mobilisation team are currently identifying contracts with key suppliers, including those that supply our rail replacement services. We recognise the importance of good quality rail replacement services and will communicate the full details of any new arrangements as soon as they are clarified.

Do we have any more information regarding the new CAF DMUs and are they going to be maintained by CAF? Are depot facilities going to be improved? We are continuing to work with our suppliers to identify the working relationships and whether additional investment will be delivered at existing depots. We have already committed that maintenance will continue at all current depots, as well as the added reassurance that there will be no compulsory redundancies throughout the entire length of the 15 year service agreement.

When are we going to hear if current systems used by Arriva will be retained by KA, such as CMS Assure and Data Station? The teams working on mobilisation are working through the full requirements for all IT systems as a priority, including important systems such as our electronic competency systems. When this has been agreed in terms of which systems we need to take forward, this will be communicated. We are aware that there are a number of systems which are critical to our operation on Day 1 and therefore, expect to roll over any systems like this into the new service.

Catering

Is catering part of the new franchise? Catering is featured as part of the new franchise.

What will happen to At Seat Catering staff? All At Seat Catering employees will transfer to Rail Gourmet. A plan will be devised in consultation with staff to then transfer to TfW employment as soon as possible (subject to legal due diligence).

What will Rail Gourmet be responsible for from 14th October? A. Rail Gourmet will be contracted to delivery of: The sourcing and procurement of food and beverage items.  Management of the four existing service centres and logistics. Recruitment, Management and ongoing Development of the Catering staff. On Board Catering services to specified trains (Gerald and all other).

Will Rail Gourmet share staff between franchises e.g. at Newport? No, staff will be dedicated to delivering TfW’s Rail Services operations.

Will staff wear RG uniform? No, staff will be wearing different uniforms from the RG one and will be branded TfW, consistent with staff employed by TfW’s rail services partner KA

Will staff still get access to the KA internal vacancy list as they do today? Yes, we are very keen that this continues

Will there be a reduction in catering services? No, at seat trolley catering services will be operated on as many services as today (increasing later in the franchise).

Will Gerald services remain as today? Gerald services (both Business and Buffet) will operate as today. Business will continue to serve freshly prepared dishes by Chefs. The number of Gerald services will increase later in the franchise

Will Welsh produce still be used? Yes. We are absolutely committed to working with Welsh suppliers to showcase the very best produce in all areas of our catering.

Will there be any changes to Service centres? No. The existing 4 service centres at Chester, Shrewsbury, Newport and Carmarthen will remain.

What will happen with the Trolleys? Existing trolleys will be repaired and continue from Day 1 with a maintenance programme. A new fleet of trolleys will be introduced later in the franchise.

Will we have a new EPOS system? YES. We will introduce the RG EPOS system which is also able to take credit cards.

 

Our Purpose: Connecting people and communities to what is important to them