Transport for Wales has confirmed that testing for the new FLIRT trains has begun in Europe by Stadler.
The FLIRTs, or Fast Light Intercity and Regional Trains, are being built by Stadler and are being built in Switzerland before they are transferred to South Wales for testing on the Wales and Borders Network, where they will begin entering service from 2022.
The Class 756 tri-mode FLIRTs will operate on the Rhymney, Coryton and Vale of Glamorgan Lines, whilst the Class 231 diesel-mode FLIRTs will operate between Cardiff, Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and Cheltenham.
These two new classes of train are just one of the improvements being made, with the Class 769s being introduced and the improved Class 67 hauled Mk4 sets are proving popular with passengers.
Testing has also begun on TfW’s new Class 197 trains that are being assembled in Newport.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “From day one at TfW our main goal has been to transform transport and improve the customer experience. These brand-new trains with better facilities all round will provide a modern service for the people of Wales.
“We’ve already started testing on some of our new trains within Wales and I’m pleased our Stadler FLIRTs are now being tested in Europe and will then be sent to us for testing on our network.
“Our teams are pushing ahead building the South Wales Metro and we’re moving forward with the new trains that will provide a modern turn-up-and-go service that is greener for the environment.”
Sandro Muster, project manager at Stadler, commented: “The FLIRT is Stadler’s best-selling product for passengers. With more than 1,970 of them sold in 21 countries, it is reliable, innovative and suited to a wide range of climates and geographies, including cities and regions alike.
“Of the 35 FLIRTs for Transport for Wales, 24 units will be tri-mode, capable of running on diesel, overhead electric wires, as well as battery power, underscoring Stadler’s green credentials and commitment to decarbonisation.”
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