Transport for Wales hails 'a new era for travel' in Wales with the arrival of new trains

  • Transport for Wales has unveiled the first of a fleet of brand new trains. Reporter Mike Griffiths went to take a tour.

Transport for Wales has signalled "a new era for train travel" in Wales with the arrival of brand new trains which will provide more capacity and improved services for passengers.

The arrival of the new trains comes after Transport for Wales said they were investing in services.

The company are injecting £800 million in new trains for the Wales and borders network with the first two trains from manufacturer Stadler being delivered to the Transport for Wales depot at Canton in Cardiff.

The new trains will improve services across Wales and its borders Credit: Transport for Wales

Sandro Muster, Project Manager for Stadler, promises that TfW passengers will be happy with the new trains.

He 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.”

The trains came from Switzerland and are the first of 35 to be delivered to Wales over the next two years from Stadler.

The new Class 231 FLIRTs will be an important factor of the South Wales Metro, the three quarters of a billion-pound project delivered by Transport for Wales, which will provide more capacity and more frequent services.

Whilst working with train manufacturers Stadler and CAF, Transport for Wales are investing a total of £800 million a year into the new trains which will run on the network next year.

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, is proud of the new investment and hopes it signals a step forward on delivering a great programme.

He said: "With new trains will provide more capacity on our network, they will have more improved seating, provide air conditioning, power sockets and passenger information screens with up to the minute travel information.

"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.” 

One of the new trains arriving at the Canton depot in Cardiff Credit: Transport for Wales

Previously, a survey revealed that Wales ranks the lowest for local train services in Britain.

With Climate change playing a huge factor in our daily lives, Wales hope to reach their 2030 target as well as becoming net zero by 2050.

To help reach Wales net zero goal, low carbon transport must become the new norm and Transport for Wales have heavily invested in their fleets to provide safe, clean, and comfortable services, enabling people to travel about their daily lives. 

Lee Waters, Deputy Minster for Climate Change, believes that the new train services will be greener for the environment.

He said: "The new vehicles are a transformational improvement on trains they will be replacing across South Wales offering greater capacity and more frequent services.

"The improved facilities will encourage people to leave their cars behind and move onto a more sustainable form of transport."