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Testing gets underway on Transport for Wales’ new Swiss built trains

29 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
The new Stadler FLIRT trains being built for TfW. Photo Transport for Wales.

Transport for Wales has confirmed that testing is underway on the new Fast Light Intercity and Regional Trains (FLIRT) that are due to come into service from next year.

Built in Switzerland by Stadler, the new trains will be tested on the Wales and Borders Network prior to carrying paying customers.

Stadler is building two different types of train, the Class 756 tri-mode, which will operate on the Rhymney, Coryton and Vale of Glamorgan Lines, and the Class 231 diesel-mode which will run between Cardiff, Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and Cheltenham.

Testing is also under way on TfW’s new Class 197 trains that are being assembled in Newport.

‘Transform transport’

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO told Rail Advent: “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.”

Stadler is building 35 FLIRT’s for TfW, 24 of which will be tri-mode, which can run on diesel, overhead electric wires or battery power.

Sandro Muster, project manager at Stadler, said: “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.”

Testing for the Class 197 trains commenced in May, with the trains also entering service from 2022.

A total of 77 are on order and will provide long-distance services to Holyhead, Fishguard and Liverpool.

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UpMain
UpMain
1 month ago

A TfW service to Liverpool?

That’s interesting.

Ceulan
Ceulan
1 month ago
Reply to  UpMain

CrossCountry and GWR trains go to Newport. TfW also go to Chester. What’s your point?

UpMain
UpMain
1 month ago
Reply to  Ceulan

Just that it’s a new route, which could be handy for getting to Liverpool Airport.

I guess it will have to go around the Helsby Loop.

defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  UpMain

Taking back the island, a station at a time.

Pawl
Pawl
1 month ago

mae pŵer batri yn swnio’n wych

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Should have been made in Wales.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Yes? Which Welsh company makes trains?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Tell me #1Chris, why the automatic assumption that Wales is incapable of making trains? Do you think we’re too stupid? Perhaps you like to believe that we need the English master race to help us?

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Wind your neck in Barry. It was an honest question because I didn’t know there were any train manufacturers in Wales and a quick search on Google didn’t offer any possibles. I am as committed to independence from Westminster as any Indy (although my ire is fixed on Westminster and pompous Yoons but not the English)

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Come now Chris, I know you can read.
Testing is also under way on TfW’s new Class 197 trains that are being assembled in Newport.”
That’ll be the 77 units mentioned above, innit?

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

I didn’t read the whole thing. It’s about bloody TRAINS. I’m neither under 12 nor over 70. I don’t care about trains beyond which platform I need to be on and if I need to eject some opportunist Jack from my reserved seat.
I read the 1st 2 paragraphs then went straight to the comments

Last edited 1 month ago by #1Chris
defaid
defaid
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

C’mon Chris. Live a little — get your anorak out.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  defaid

I’m definitely not “cool” and vive la difference, whatever brings people joy. But trainspotting bemuses me

Chris
Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

“2 minute Read”, right at the top. Not even interested enough for 2 minutes of your time?

Last edited 1 month ago by Chris
#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

IT’S TRAINS. It was a stretch to stay interested for those two paragraphs

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

 ….are being assembled in Newport.” is what the report says. That could mean as little as final assembly which may be a bit more skilled than the run of the mill assembly work but could also mean that most if not all of the real engineering content can happen anywhere and often that’s where the real added value, profits and best wages/salaries are found. Not as bad as those wind turbines which are manufactured anywhere but Wales and shipped in for on site assembly by crews who also get shipped in ! Even Stephen Crabb has finally recognised that “Made… Read more »

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

What is a Yoon?

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Dafydd Evans

Unionist. Used in Eire, NI and Alba. I liked it and hope it would catch on here.
Not much take-up so far TBH but nil desperandum eh?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

I’ll have to remember that one.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

I prefer “Anglo Brit supremacist”. It conveys the harsh image of what often lies just under the surface of a mild mannered Yoon !

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Yoon makes them sound stupid though, a bit like ‘goon’.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

Replying to “Wind your neck in Barry. It was an honest question because I didn’t know there were any train manufacturers in Wales and a quick search on Google didn’t offer any possibles. I am as committed to independence from Westminster as any Indy (although my ire is fixed on Westminster and pompous Yoons but not the English)”
Fair enough, I stand corrected. However, I do believe that many English people see us as fundamentally incapable of surviving as an independent nation.

Last edited 1 month ago by Barry Pandy
#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

I think I agree with you regarding the undermining of our capability to be self supporting. And sorry if I was a bit snarky in my response. Truth be told, you did catch me out in my lazy assumptions and I lashed out like a cornered rat. That wasn’t fair of me

Last edited 1 month ago by #1Chris
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

No problem, I did the same.

Dafydd Evans
Dafydd Evans
1 month ago
Reply to  #1Chris

There’s a train production factory near Llanwern. Spanish owned but still Welsh jobs.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago

How about improving our train stations? The average train station in Wales (and England for that matter) looks like the result of a terrorist attack on a homeless camp.

I’ve travelled on trains on Italy and believe me they really put us to shame, although that isn’t hard to do. Improving our train stations as well as the actual trains will make the whole experience of rail travel far more pleasant and attractive.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Lot of Wales’ train stations don’t compare well with what prevails in impoverished third world countries. An expensive train ticket is like a ticket into a freaky combination of experiences built around overcrowding, bad hygiene, and arbitrary time keeping. Ychafi

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Toilets (both on the trains and in the stations) are particularly bad. There seems to be an obscure law that requires public toilets to be complete sh*tholes. I know that is one of their two functions but they don’t have to be smelly, damp, dirty, vandalised, out of order and with a general feeling that it is not really a safe place to be. Using public toilets with your children is an appalling experience.

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