A HIGH pollen count has been blamed for "technical issues" with Transport for Wales' (TfW) new Wrexham-Bidston line trains. 

The Leader reported that TfW's new Class 230 trains operating the Borderlands Line between Wrexham and Bidston experienced “minor technical issues” in their first week.

And speaking to the Railway Magazine, Andrew Gainsbury, TfW’s rolling stock strategy manager, said there has been issues with pollen clogging the engine filters causing overheating.

Mr Gainsbury said this has been mitigated by daily cleaning of filters and swapping over which units are in service during the day.

“This has allowed us to manage the situation this year and already the pollen seems to be subsiding,” Mr Gainsbury said. 

"However, we will be looking for a more permanent fix to stop it reoccurring next year."


The Welsh Government's deputy minister for transport, Lee Waters, has pledged improvements to the troubled the Borderlands line. 

This includes a plan, with TfW pledging to: 

  • Resolving outstanding technical issues with the new class 230 trains
  • Dedicating the Class 230 fleet to the Borderlands line
  • Working with drivers, guards and maintenance staff to operate the new Class 230 stock to their full capability.

When Transport for Wales has restored hourly trains that run on time, it will introduce a new, hourly limited stop service which, with the existing hourly service, will offer half hourly services and accommodate freight services on the Line.

Transport for Wales has also committed to improve:

  • Information services for passengers
  • The availability of ticket purchase options
  • The management of rail replacement bus services, which it pledges to keep to a minimum, as they do not suit the line and the local road network

The Railway Magazine reports that four of TfW's five Class 230s are currently available for service. They are expected to be joined by the fifth in the autumn following repair works.