Two brand-new trains that will provide more capacity and improved services, and will transform train travel in Wales, have been delivered to Transport for Wales (TfW).
The new trains have gone to TfW’s depot at Canton, in Cardiff, for testing. They were being built by Stadler in Switzerland, and are designated Class 231 FLIRT, which stands for Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train.
Over the next 24 months, TfW will take delivery of 35 FLIRTs as a key part of the South Wales Metro.
The South Wales Metro is a three-quarter of a billion-pound transformational project being delivered by TfW that will provide both more capacity and more frequent services whilst being greener for the environment.
TfW is working with train manufacturers Stadler and CAF, and investing a total of £800 million into brand new trains that will begin to run on the Wales and Borders network next year.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, said:
“The new vehicles are a transformational improvement on the trains that they will be replacing across South Wales offering greater capacity, more frequent services with improved facilities encouraging people to leave their cars behind and move onto a more sustainable form of transport.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said:
“The arrival of these brand-new trains is another major milestone for TfW and signifies another step forward on our transformational programme to deliver a transport network that the people of Wales can be proud of.
“We’re investing £800 million into new trains that will provide more capacity on our network, they will have more and improved seating, provide air conditioning, power sockets and passenger information screens with up-to-the-minute travel information. The customer is at the heart of our planning at TfW and these trains will have more space for bikes, people with limited mobility and pushchairs.
“People will now start to see some of our new trains being tested on our network and we’re looking forward to seeing the first new units enter service for customers next year.”
Sandro Muster, Project Manager for Stadler, said:
“The arrival of the first unit in Cardiff is a momentous occasion for everyone involved in the project. Not only Stadler, but our client, Transport for Wales, and above all, the people who will soon be travelling on them. Passengers will notice a massive difference in the ride quality, the comfort and the attention to detail.
“We will now embark on an extensive programme of testing to ensure that they are ready for commercial service. Every aspect of the train, from their on-board features to energy consumption trials, noise levels and signalling, will be scrutinised rigorously.”