Rail passengers in Rhondda Cynon Taf can save more money than ever on longer journeys in Wales and the borders as TfW launches its first pricing initiative to make rail travel more affordable for all passengers.

New Advance tickets, TfW’s first pricing initiative since taking over the franchise in October 2018, means all passengers can save up to 60% throughout the Wales and the Borders network on many new journeys over 50 miles.

Under the previous operator, cheaper fares were only available to purchase on a limited number of routes.

Advance tickets are single tickets for specific trains which can be bought from 12 weeks and up to 6pm, prior to the day of travel. Passengers then purchase another Advance single ticket for return journeys.

Tickets are valid on the train booked and the earlier passengers buy a ticket, the cheaper it can be with the average saving at 48%.

Passengers can check whether Advance tickets are available on their route by visiting tfwrail.wales, where the cheapest fare will always be highlighted or via the TfW Rail app.

In October 2018, TfW published a “timeline” of changes “Coming Down the Track” detailing the transformational improvements that would be taking place by 2025.

Some improvements have already started which include the deep clean of many stations and the refurbishment of trains.

TfW has also introduced ‘Delay Repay 15’ which offers compensation or refunds to customers if their train has been delayed by more than 15 minutes.

Other improvements that will be taking place in 2019 and 2020 include the launch of Smart ticketing and the introduction of new fare initiatives which includes better fares for 6-18-year olds.

Colin Lea, commercial and customer experience director for Transport for Wales Rail Services, said: “We know that many people believe that travelling longer distances by train is expensive. Advance tickets offer passengers genuine value for money and we hope more will be encouraged to use the train for trips to visit family and friends or for short breaks.

“We made a commitment to our customers last year that we would make travelling by train unrecognisably better in the future. Lots of work is being done behind the scenes to improve stations, trains and services but these take longer to deliver.

“We also committed to offering customers real value for money which we have been able to deliver more quickly with the launch of these new Advance tickets where customers are able to save up to 60%. We hope that Advance tickets will encourage more people to use the train for longer journeys across Wales and the borders.”

To purchase Advance tickets, visit tfwrail.wales, any train ticket office or download the TfW Rail app.