South Wales Metro update: benefits for students


If you travel by train to the university, you’ll no doubt be aware of the ongoing upgrade works being undertaken across the rail network as part of the Transport for Wales (TfW) project to electrify the train lines and launch the South Wales Metro.

What will improve?

As part of the transformation works, TfW will be undertaking the following:

  • Electrifying and upgrading over 170km of track
  • Upgrading all our stations and signalling
  • Building new stations

Rail services will be a key part of the Metro and customers can expect a modern, turn-up-and-go service that offers:

  • Quicker journeys, with reduced journey times (Increased acceleration = leading to shorter journey times and high frequency)
  • Better connections between different types of transport
  • Greater capacity
  • More frequent, reliable and accessible services
  • Cheaper tickets and more affordable train travel with smart ticketing
  • Greener services  - using cleaner energy rather than fossil fuels
  • Improved active travel routes

Benefits for USW students

In order to prepare for the introduction of brand-new electric trains onto the South Wales network, the timetable will change on Sunday 2 June 2024.

  1. There will be increased services of between 6-8 trains per hour between Pontypridd and Cardiff. A train will run every 10 minutes between 7am and 7pm Mondays to Saturdays.
  2. Included in the 8 trains per hour is a new service between Pontypridd and Cardiff Bay. This service will run every 30 minutes Mondays to Saturdays, in addition to the regular Cardiff Queen Street to Cardiff Bay services.
  3. All services will stop at Treforest Industrial Estate.
  4. TfW have successfully electrified the Aberdare line and Pontypridd to Cardiff (including the City Line) and the Treherbert line will be completed this month.

Download the new TfW app

TFW have a new app and website with a specific communications plan to inform customers of the new train schedule within specific stations. To understand how the works may affect your journey, please scan the below QR code or click here.


To find out more about the project and the future works planned across the South Wales network, visit the TfW Metro website for more information.

Student Railcard – Valleys and Cardiff Local Routes

Costs: £13 per year

Benefits: offers 34% off all day tickets and 10% off all season tickets along key Valleys and Cardiff local routes. Discounts apply out of term and at weekends too.

Valid on Valleys and Cardiff Local Routes

Applicants must be over 16 and in full-time education, or under 26 and in part-time education. For more information visit Valleys Student Railcard.

16-25 Railcard

Everyone aged between 16-25 in the UK, or are over 25 and in full-time study, is eligible for a 16-25 Railcard which gives a 33% discount on all rail travel. The card costs £30 for a year, but it is well worth it if you’re going to travel by train frequently. For more information and to apply visit 16-25 Railcard.

Note that a £12 minimum fare during peak times means this card would only offer you savings if you are commuting a significant distance, or if your lectures start early. It may still be useful if you travel longer distances regularly.

26-30 Railcard

Available to 26-30 year olds, the National Rail 26-30 Railcard will save you 1/3 off a wide range of tickets. For more information visit 26 – 30 Railcard.

Extension of the Rhondda Railcard 50% discount

As a thank you to customers for their patience throughout the transformation work, until the end of May passengers on the Treherbert Line can get 50% off ticket prices. For more information visit Rhondda Railcard.

Do you want to travel more sustainably?

To find out more about how you can travel sustainably to our campuses and the facilities available to support active travel, visit the USW Travel pages.