"Proper" 1st class from Wales?

  • 11 February 2023
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 4
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I will be getting the TFW train from Holyhead to Cardiff in a couple of weeks on a 1st class Interrail.  This particular train is the only TFW one that has an actual dining car according to their website - “Our first-class dining service and food bar service is currently only available on our Premier Service between Cardiff and Holyhead.”

I understand that GWR are a good bet for a dining car on trains to London.  It looks like their availability is limited this month -, but hopefully will be available when I plan on traveling.

I think I heard somewhere that some UK carriers had dropped theirs in recent years, but I don’t know which ones still have them other than TFW and GWR.  Does anyone know what routes north out of London have dining cars, or even which operators still have them in general?



[edit] I see the title and the post don’t match, but I can’t change the title unfortunately.


Best answer by Al_G 12 February 2023, 03:58

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Userlevel 7
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One of the best for travel north is LNER. First Class has complementary food and drink, depending on the time of the train.

Train dining options are shown on the timetables accessed from the menu pages.


Userlevel 7
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Avanti West Coast and LNER have a free offering, what this is varies from a small hot meal to just sandwiches and snacks, both offer alcoholic drinks.

TransPenine Express, Cross Country and East Midlands Railway (on trains to/from London) also offer some catering to 1st class passengers.

The GWR Pullman dining and the TFW Premier Cardiff - Holyhead services have full meals prepared on board to a high standard, these are not included in the ticket price.

I haven’t been on the GWR dining trains, there are only a few trains per day that offer this, the rest of the time it will be free tea/coffee, snacks and maybe a sandwich.

Certainly the TfW service is worth the cost, the food has been excellent any time I have been on-board. There is also a cheaper option from the buffet counter for those in standard class or 1st if you don’t want the full 3 course meal on afternoon/evening trains.

Like everything else on the UK railways at present there is more unreliability than normal, these can be substituted with non-restaurant or 1st class trains so it is best to check the operator’s websites. will list changes in train services for their Premier services under catering and train formation changes.

Userlevel 4
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Thanks for the replies folks.  I have some planning to do.  If there’s one thing better than a proper meal on a train, it’s a proper meal on a train for free.

I will probably take the Holyhead-Cardiff one since I am heading that direction anyway, but will investigate Avanti West Coast, LNER and the others called out above.