New trains will be a boost for North Wales rail passengers – Ken Skates
Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates has visited rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail to see the new Transport for Wales trains that will transform the customer experience for rail users in North Wales.
The trains are part of the £5 billion investment being made by Transport for Wales across Wales and the Borders and are expected to go into service first, in North Wales, during 2019.
With fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning, the trains are a significant milestone for Transport for Wales, as they continue to deliver on their plans to transform rail services throughout Wales and the borders.
The additional trains will provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly service using diesel and batteries. The new hybrid units will be the first used in regular passenger service in the UK.
Each train will have three carriages containing 125 seats with a total capacity of 293. North Wales will benefit from the new units first on the Wrexham to Bidston route before the Crewe to Chester and Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog routes.
Chair of the Conwy Valley Railway Partnership, Cllr Philip Evans said: “We look forward to the arrival of the new units on the Conwy Valley Line, a welcome upgrade and an opportunity to really promote the line as one of the most Scenic Railways in the UK”
Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said: “It’s been great to visit our rolling stock manufacturer, Vivarail and to see the Transport for Wales trains that will be running on routes in North Wales later this year.
“We’ve had an opportunity to take a ride on the trains on Vivarail’s test track and gain a real understanding of the hybrid engine. Not only will these transform the experience on board for rail passengers in North Wales, they will use 25 per cent less fuel and have a regenerative braking system that captures energy back into the batteries.
“These modern trains demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and the environment, as well as our ambitious plans to transform the experience for rail users.
“The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to improving our rail services and through our investment I am confident over the coming years people across Wales will be benefiting from the best passenger rail service in the UK which will be a vital step change as we leave the European Union.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO added: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Transport for Wales. Our new trains with hybrid engines and modern facilities will significantly improve the customer experience.
“We are continuing our journey to transform the transport network in Wales and deliver on our promises. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and partners, who are helping us achieve our vision.”
Sara Holland, Transport for Wales Rail Services Rolling Stock Director said: “Passenger safety, security and comfort is our priority. As an agile and flexible supplier, Vivarail are working with us to design and manufacture rail solutions that work for us and our customers. We are really looking forward to bringing the new trains to North Wales later this year.”