All trains in and out of Ludlow are cancelled this morning and the service may not resume today. This sudden interruption of services is due to wheel damage to a train(s) and the need for safety checks on Arriva’s fleet of Class 175 trains. A replacement bus service has just begun operating (c. 9.00am). The best advice is not to travel unless you really must.
Safety is clearly an overriding concern. But there are questions that Arriva needs to answer about this disruption to Shropshire services.
Arriva say on Twitter that damage to has forced immediate inspections of its entire Class 175 fleet.
It is not clear why this has occurred now and whether it is related to the weather. After all, we have had chilly weather before. Arriva is the only company now running Class 175 trains. We need to ask whether this is a maintenance issue, whether it is related to the cold snap or just due to the age of the fleet.
Why isn’t the older stock on the Holyhead to South Wales route operating a limited through the Marches?
I earlier asked Arriva why a replacement bus service is not running between Hereford and Shrewsbury, calling at Leominster, Ludlow, Craven Arms and Church Stretton. The company has now responded that they have got a service up and running. It is not yet known how frequent the buses will be.
In other rail news, last year Arriva withdrew from the tendering process to run the Borders and Wales franchise from October 2018. That left three consortia in the running. Now, after the collapse of Carillion, Scotrail operator Abellio Group has withdrawn its bid for the franchise. Two groups remain in the running to provide our local trains: Keolis Amey, which runs High Speed 1, and Hong Kong-based MTR Corporation.