The new single enhanced North-South express service, which will run from September, will now stop at two of the busiest stations in North Wales -Wrexham and Flint.
This new service, which will replace the existing Gerallt Gymro service and producing savings of over half a million pounds per year, will combine the characteristics of both services including business class and buffet facilities.
Announcing the enhanced service Mr Sargeant said:
“Providing an effective and sustainable transport network that meets the needs of the people of Wales is a priority for me.”
“ I’m delighted to announce that this new express service, which will retain the best parts of the Gerallt Gymro service, cost the Welsh taxpayer less and provide more time in Cardiff for business commuters and shoppers.”
“ Unlike the Gerallt Gymro this new service will also stop at Wrexham which is key if this express route is to properly serve the people of North Wales.”
The new express service, which is a National Transport Plan commitment , are expected to depart Holyhead at 05:32 arriving in Cardiff Central at 09:58 and will then return at 18.18 arriving in Holyhead at 22.35.
Mike Bagshaw, Commercial Director, Arriva Trains Wales said;
‘We are delighted to be working with the Welsh Government to deliver this important part of their National Transport Plan.’
Flintshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Bernie Attridge, said:
"I would like to thank the Minister for the new and enhanced rail service which will improve the rail experience for those Flintshire travellers who will use the service. “
“ We need to support and encourage high quality, efficient and sustainable transport networks to key destinations which are regularly used, and express services like this will support this initiative."
Helen Paterson, Chief Executive of Wrexham Council said:
"The news of these rail improvements from the Welsh Government is excellent and indicates the importance of this route.”
“ This has been one of our transport objectives and our members have lobbied directly with the Welsh Government to make this happen."
New carriages that are currently being refurbished by Pullman Rail as part of the enhanced service has secured 14 new jobs for the Cardiff based company.
Arriva Trains Wales will continue to operate an evening commuter service at 16.15 between Cardiff and Chester via Abergavenny and Crewe. This will continue to provide peak commuting capacity between Cardiff and Abergavenny, for which there is strong demand.
In addition ATW will operate a service between Wrexham and Shrewsbury to maintain hourly services at Gobowen, Ruabon and Chirk.