On too many occasions over the past several years has the focus of this space been trained on Transport for Wales and its abysmal track record — yes those puns are fully intended — servicing mid and west Wales.

For once, it’s nice to see that our words — and those of the thousands of rail users who have also complained of the atrocious service — have not been in vain. As the Cambrian News reports this week, train watchdogs have launched an investigation into the Network Rail Wales and Western region over continued poor performance, including a lack of punctuality and reliability, as problems on services including the Cambrian Line in mid and north Wales continue.

It’s not just Transport for Wales that’s at fault. The problems, the probe infers, are systemic.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) says Network Rail’s contribution to train service performance in the region has been “on an overall worsening trend since 2021”, which is “impacting both passengers and freight”.

Train performance has “continued to deteriorate” in the region, the ORR says.

The region has been subject to enhanced regulatory monitoring and intervention over the past two years and Feras Alshaker, director of performance and planning at the ORR, said that while he “acknowledges Wales & Western’s co-operation with our enhanced monitoring, including its progress in developing and implementing its performance improvement plan,” the “train performance levels experienced by customers continue to be below expectations”.­

The ORR is now launching an investigation into “whether or not Wales & Western has contravened or is contravening the Network Licence”, that will include talks with operators including Transport for Wales.

This probe is not before its time. For too long we have suffered by overcrowded trains, poor service and engineering works that seem to drag on for months. We are long accustomed to seeing bus replacement services filling in.

While of ORR is going about its work, perhaps they could impose proper and fitting sanctions for those responsible for the poor services and bad planning that seems endemic on our train lines. We’re all fed up.

Transport for Wales couldn’t run a model train set — and sadly it seems as if they are not alone.