It’s all change for rail in Wales.
The new operator of the Wales and Borders franchise has unveiled its plans.
KeolisAmey has said it will spend £800 million on trains, provide news trains for 95% of journeys and recruit an additional 600 staff.
The French-Spanish joint venture will take over from Arriva Trains Wales for the next 15 years from October.
This is an important moment for transport in Wales and begins a new chapter for rail services in this country.
KeolisAmey has said the benefits include the following :
An additional 600 staff will be recruited and 450 new apprenticeships will also be created.
£1.9b will be invested in improving passengers’ travel experience, including an £800m investment in trains.
All trains will be replaced by 2023 when 95% of journeys will be on brand new trains.
£194m will be invested to modernise all 247 stations and build four new stations: Gabalfa, Crwys Road, Loudoun Square and the Flourish.
Stations will be powered 100% by renewable energy, at least half sourced in Wales.
Increased capacity on the valleys lines and new services between Chester and Liverpool.
By the end of 2023, there will be an additional 285 services each weekday across Wales.
Sunday services will be boosted by 61%.
This is the first time a rail service has been procured and awarded in Wales, for Wales. It follows over four years of intense work to develop a bespoke, innovative approach and responds to the lessons learned from rail franchising and infrastructure delivery across the UK in recent years.
This important milestone is a testament to the effective collaboration between the UK and Welsh Governments and the rail industry in Wales throughout the process.