The transformation of the Wales and Borders rail network has moved another step closer with the first of the brand-new Class 197 trains coming off the production line.
Testing has begun on the first two of 77 new trains which are due to begin entering service from next year on long-distance services, serving destinations as varied as Holyhead, Fishguard and Liverpool.
The bodyshells of the Class 197 Civity trains were built in Beasain, northern Spain, by Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF before final assembly took place at the company’s factory in Llanwern, Newport.
Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, commented: “As we recover from the pandemic and work towards a greener future we need to do all we can to encourage more people back on the train.
“Seeing these new trains coming off the production line is a positive sign of improving the quality of train travel in Wales.”
James Price, Transport for Wales Chief Executive, said: “It’s an exciting milestone to have the first brand new trains built by Transport for Wales off the production line and into testing.
“The Class 197s will be an important part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network and we look forward to welcoming passengers onto the new trains from next year.
“We’re delighted with the quality of the trains and proud that final assembly has taken place in Newport, supporting highly-skilled jobs and bringing further employment to the area.”
These new trains will provide enhanced comfort for TfW customers with features such as leather seats (first class), stain resistant seats and a modern air conditioning/heating system.
The Class 197 trains also come equipped with a smart seat reservations system. Seat reservations will be downloaded from the reservation computer each time traincrew change ends on the train.
Richard Garner, CAF’s UK Director, comments: “CAF is proud to be playing a key role in delivering Transport for Wales’ commitment to transform rail travel. Our ‘Made in Wales’ trains put the passengers needs first and will ensure a high-quality, reliable, and comfortable journey across the Welsh rail network.”
The £30m CAF factory at Celtic Business Park near Llanwern Steelworks in Newport has grown from just 12 employees in 2016 to more than 200 today.
Testing for the two new trains (197001 and 197002) is currently taking place in North Wales and the north of England.
(Lead image: Transport for Wales)
Welsh Government calls on more people to host Ukrainians in their homes
Council describes 10 year-old Leon as ‘Environment Hero’ for Whitland litter picks
How one woman’s tragic loss helped save a child given just hours to live
Children’s hospice say they’re determined to keep doors open despite energy crisis
Council announces nearly 90 projects to tackle post-pandemic cost of living crisis
Free ‘Grow How’ session to help gardeners make the most of autumn gardening
Llanelli Half Marathon: Running on a high
Strictly Come Dancing: Ellie Simmonds talks first dances, fake tan and facing off for Glitterball glory
Cleaner water linked with smaller cockles that die younger, research on Burry Inlet reveals
West Wales women up for awards in leading Welsh ceremony
Bus drivers set to walk out in First Cymru pay dispute
From stamps and coins to passports and police helmets: What will change following the death of the Queen
Gorseinon pub overlooking rugby and cricket club could become flats
Smoke seen for miles as former Cinderella nightclub on Mumbles Pier catches fire
Council suspends non-essential services on September 19
Pembrokeshire crowds ready to welcome 10th IRONMAN Wales
Plans for apartments on former Neath Workingmen’s Club site
Tributes paid to HM Queen Elizabeth II as communities prepare mourning arrangements
Transport strikes postponed following Monarch’s death
28 year-old Port Talbot stroke survivor takes on mountain climb after learning to walk again
Bridgend5 days ago
Bus strikes back on after Queen’s funeral postponement
Bridgend4 days ago
Bus strike cancelled after First Cymru and unions come to agreement
Motoring7 days ago
Coastguard release dramatic pictures of car after it falls off cliff at Mumbles car park
South Wales Police6 days ago
Police want to speak with this man after assault in Uplands
Llanelli6 days ago
Everything you need to know ahead of the M&D Care Llanelli Half Marathon
Cardiff Airport7 days ago
Cardiff Airport restarts Italian flights and gets new direct Romanian destination
Business7 days ago
TUI Invests in team with help of Gower College Swansea
Environment5 days ago
Trecco Bay Holiday Park takes part in Great British Beach Clean