Serena Industrial Partners, along with Renfe.
Serena is studying the possibility, along with Renfe, of entering the UK rail market as one of the strategic partners of Grand Union Trains (GUT), to develop a new commercial service between London and Carmarthen (South Wales).
GUT is a British company established in 2018 with the purpose of developing a new commercial service between London and South Wales, under an open access scheme. GUT’s directors have successfully promoted other open access services such as Grand Central, which was later sold to Arriva (DB’s subsidiary).
Renfe is the Spanish National Railway Network company.
With over 80 years of experience in rail operations and with an international strategy focused on expansion to other European markets, which has been achieved during the last years in geographies such as France and the Baltics.
The UK rail market is a long-time liberalized market with diverse business opportunities. Large European operators and financial investors are present in UK, explaining Serena’s and Renfe’s interests in the project.
The service will be kicked-off from London to Cardiff on the first phase, with stops in Bristol Parkway, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport. On the second phase, service will be extended to Felindre, Llanelli and Carmarthen, following the construction of a new train station in Felindre.
One of the characteristics of the new service is its high-quality design, with more comfort on board (larger seats and more leg and luggage space), as well as a buffet wagon available in all services for a best customer experience. To achieve the level and quality of services, the project foresees an important investment in rolling stock and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
Currently, GUT has formally submitted an application to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) to obtain the right to operate the new open access service between Carmarthen and London Paddington, operating five services of outbound and inbound trains every day.