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TfW unveils brand new Carew Castle Express

20 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Carew Castle Express – Image: TfW

The ‘Carew Castle Express’ has been unveiled to mark the introduction of brand-new Transport for Wales trains between Swansea and Carmarthen.

Named as part of TfW’s Magnificent Train Journey competition, the name ‘Carew Castle Express’ was chosen by year 5 pupil Rhys Protheroe from Johnstown Primary School in Carmarthen.

Rhys and other children from the school were invited to Carmarthen Railway Station last week to see the winning name on the side of one of TfW’s brand new Class 197 trains.

The Class 197s have recently been introduced between Swansea and Carmarthen, offering greater capacity and enhanced on-board comfort.

Work is progressing to introduce the trains further west to Milford Haven and Fishguard Harbour, which is expected to be completed later this year.

Image: TfW

TfW has said that soon every service west of Carmarthen will be on one of the brand-new trains.

Alexia Course, Chief Commercial Officer for TfW, said: “We’re excited to be running our brand-new trains in West Wales and we’re adding more to our network every few weeks.

“The new trains really transform the customer experience and as we add more to our network, we’re building resilience and seeing an improvement in our performance.

“We’re delighted to be able to invite one of our Magnificent Train Journey competition winners along to see their chosen name on the train and help inspire the next generation of travellers to chose public transport.”


As part of an £800 million investment into new trains, TfW first introduced the Class 197s to the Wales and borders network at the start of this year.

Over the coming months and throughout next year, TfW will continue adding new trains to their network, with 37 Class 197s already delivered and another 40 to come.

CAF UK Director Richard Garner commented: “CAF are extremely proud to play a key role in delivering TfW’s commitment to transform rail travel for passengers, ensuring a high quality, reliable and comfortable journey.”

“As a local employer we are invested in providing highly skilled jobs at our Newport, South Wales factory to support local employment opportunities whilst focusing on sustainability issues and addressing the needs of the Welsh economy. Today’s unveiling of the ‘Carw Castle Express’ as named by a local schoolchild further strengthens this relationship with the Welsh communities.”

The Class 197 will run throughout the length and breadth of the network and will become the backbone of TfW mainline services. On the South Wales Metro, 60 new trains and tram trains will be introduced from 2024 onwards to complete the transformation of our fleet.

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5 months ago

Love the new trains, much more comfort and much more accessible

5 months ago

Amazing but do you get anywhere quicker ? No to go from Colwyn Bay to Barry 4 hour 20 to drive 4hrs £10 and nearly £100 cheaper .
Colwyn bay to Aberystwyth by train 4h 10 .
To drive 2 hours but public transport is better for us and the environment …. How ?

Another Richard
Another Richard
5 months ago

I look forward to riding on these. It would be interesting to know why they can’t travel west of Carmarthen straight away. Will they go to Pembroke, or only to Fishguard and Milford Haven as the article suggests? If so, “Carew Castle Express” will be a misnomer.

2 months ago

It already is a gross misnomer. I don’t blame the kid (even if they knew what the word ‘express’ means, they probably had no idea what TfW would use it on at the time the name competition was run) but TfW should have known better. A class 197 is NOT an express train design in any way, shape or form. An express is a fast service* stopping at only a few (or even no) stations along the way. Yet huge compromises have been made on passenger comfort in the class 197 design (less tables, legroom, toilets etc.) in order to… Read more »

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