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