Bosses at fledgling rail company Transport for Wales have issued an apology to customers after a series of delays and cancellations.

The company took the step of taking out full page adverts in Welsh daily newspapers today to issue a message to customers signed by TfW chief operating officer Rick Davey and Network Rail chief operating officer Alison Thompson.

Passengers in Welshpool, Machynlleth and Newtown were left fuming after the 08.40 train from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury was cancelled on four days last week.

The statement said more than a quarter of the country's trains had been taken out of service for maintenance or repair and this, along with Storm Callum, had caused the delays.

"We're sorry that over recent weeks too many trains have been cancelled, delayed, or have arrived with fewer carriages than normal," read the statement.

"We know that overcrowding and uncertainty are big challenges for people, and we want to apologise that you haven't received the service that you deserve and expect.

"Safety is our top priority. Ongoing issues associated with recent storms in combination with ageing trains have led to an unprecedented number of our trains being out of service, and this has meant we have had to run reduced services across the whole of our network. 36 trains out of a total fleet of 127 are currently under repair.

"We know that you, our customers, deserve better from your rail services in Wales and the Borders, and this is not what you expected from your new operator."

Transport for Wales took over running of the Wales and Borders service in October.

Speaking earlier today, TfW commercial manager Colin Lea said the company had inherited a 'very old fleet' from Arriva Trains Wales, and that maintenance depots were working around the clock to get the repairs completed.

Earlier this year, the company confirmed it had placed an £800m order for 148 "longer, quieter" trains, with enhanced passenger comfort such as air con, wi-fi, step-free access and power and USB sockets for each seat.

TfW say 95% of journeys will be on the new trains by the end of 2023.