Support our Nation today - please donate here

First electric train completes test run on Core Valleys Line

08 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Class 756 during test run

History was made this month as the very first electric train completed a test run north of Cardiff to Pontypridd during daylight hours.

On 3 April, a small Transport for Wales (TfW) crew successfully completed a test journey from Canton Depot via the City line up to Radyr and Pontypridd using the brand new Overhead Line Electrification.

The moment marked the next step in building the South Wales Metro which will see Core Valley Lines electrified.

Project Manager Alex Cochrane said: “It was a fantastic moment to see a train run on the Valleys under electric power for the very first time and today was really special.

“It is a testimony to the hard work that has gone into the project from so many teams across TfW and our infrastructure and supplier partners.

“There is still plenty of work to do before they can enter passenger service but we know customers will really appreciate the huge benefits they will bring.”


Further routes on the Core Valleys Network will see testing take place in the coming weeks before the start of an intensive train crew training programme.

The trains will then be entering public service later this year.

Boasting either three or four modern, spacious carriages, the Stadler 756 fleet are almost identical to the brand new trains introduced on the Rhymney line in 2023 – but with the ability to run on overhead or battery power, or as a diesel/battery hybrid.

They can travel up to 75mph and are also able to switch to run on battery or diesel hybrid power for sections of the network that are difficult or costly to electrify.

Work began to electrify the Merthyr, Treherbert and Aberdare lines in 2020 and at various points the lines have been closed for extended periods whilst work is carried out.

The Merthyr and Aberdare lines were successfully electrified in 2023, with the Overhead Line Equipment now live.

Significant transformation work has been undertaken to upgrade railway infrastructure including upgrading stations to ensure they’re ready for the introduction of the new longer trains and brand-new signalling.

Major track work has also been undertaken to install new passing loops and track doubling in many areas.

This will allow TfW to begin increasing the frequency of trains on the South-East Wales network from Summer 2024.

With meticulous attention to detail and skilled craftsmanship, the paint team at Pullman Rail have been working hard to ensure the trains are looking their very best for when they do enter service.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.