New vehicles in the Wales-Border franchise, including new tram and trimodi trains, which can pass for the metro between electric, diesel and battery mode, are on order. Funding for the new roll was taken over by Keolis, a contractual agreement that is being maintained. In October 2002, Connex/GB Railways, National Express and Serco-Abellio were invited to apply for the next franchise.   In December 2003, Arriva entered into a 15-year contract to operate the franchise until 2018 and was designated Arriva Trains Wales.    Pre-Covid, with some carrot and stick based on performance, KeolisAmey could have expected it to have withdrawn about $15 million a year from the operation of the franchise, which also includes services across the border to England. In the longer term, the Welsh Government wants an extension of the tube and similar integrated undergrounds for Swansea Bay and north-east Wales, with an early view to improving public transport in north-west Wales. Both Keolis and Amey could participate in expansions and new Metro projects, although they are expected to undergo procurement processes. With regard to the Welsh Government`s future OLR status for the Welsh franchise and the Borders, it remains to be expected, and until the full details are published and we begin to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic with people returning to public transport, it is difficult to predict what the future will give us. The turnover model of the Wales franchise and borders has collapsed, as with all franchised railway companies in the UK, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, where passenger numbers initially fell by more than 90% and had only returned to about 30% before the last two weeks of “firebreak” restrictions. In order to support rail operators during the first wave of the pandemic, the UK government has replaced the usual franchising agreements (which have not been awarded by devolved administrations) with emergency agreements (EMAs).
The six-month EMA meant that operators continued to operate day-to-day services, while the UK government took in revenue and cost risks. EPAs have been replaced by Emergency Measures Agreements (ErMA) (again without decentralised administrations). These ERMAs are a transition to a new rail system, which represents the biggest upheaval in almost a quarter of a century when franchising was introduced. Transport for Wales, the Welsh government`s transport arm, keolisAmey – a joint venture between French global transport company Keolis and Spanish infrastructure consultancy Amey – has awarded the 15-year franchise in 2018, the franchise has already released $60 million in emergency aid since March. It won`t be a problem. Keep in mind that most of the current employees were transferred to KeolisAmey after working for the previous operator of the Wales-Borders franchise at Arriva Trains Wales.