‘New era’ heralded as brand new Transport for Wales trains arrive
Transport for Wales have heralded a “new era” with the arrival of brand-new trains that they say will provide more capacity and improved services for Transport for Wales passengers.
£800 million is being invested in new trains for the Wales and borders network by Transport for Wales, who were nationalised by the Welsh Government last year.
The first two brand new trains from train manufacturer Stadler have now been delivered to the TfW depot at Canton, in Cardiff, for testing.
The new Class 231 FLIRT trains arrived in Wales from Switzerland and are the first of 35 to be delivered over the next 24 months from Stadler.
The FLIRTs will be part of the South Wales Metro, the three quarters of billion-pound project which aims to provide more capacity and more frequent services that will be greener for the environment.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said that the new trains were a “transformational improvement on the trains that they will be replacing across South Wales”.
He added that they will be “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 that the arrival of the brand-new trains was “another major milestone” for Transport for Wales 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,” he said.
“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.”
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