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Stadler announced as preferred bidder to supply 71 new Wales and Borders trains

Swiss rolling stock provider Stadler has been announced as the preferred bidder for a Welsh deal that will provide 71 trains to the lines.

Franchise operator KeolisAmey has ordered 36 three-car Citylink tram-trains and 35 FLIRT trains from the manufacturer.

Of the 35 FLIRT vehicles, 24 will be operating as tri-mode, capable of running on diesel, overhead electric wires, and battery power. The tri-mode fleet includes seven three-car and 17 four-car trains.

The 24 tri-mode trains will be used on routes connecting the Vale of Glamorgan and destinations north of Cardiff— powered by electricity to the north of the capital, and diesel to the south, providing a cross-city connection.

The remaining 11 FLIRT type units will be diesel-operated and used on South Wales Metro services to Maesteg, Ebbw Vale, and Cheltenham.

The 36 Citylink tram-trains, on the other hand, will run from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare, and Merthyr Tydfil.  It is hoped that the use of batteries on tram-trains— as well as the tri-mode units— will lead to an innovative, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly service north of Cardiff through the use of smart electrification in the infrastructure.

State-of-the-art features including air-conditioning, power sockets, and wide passenger information screens— as well as longer trains with a higher seat capacity, providing additional space for up to six bikes on each train and level boarding to assist with prams and mobility scooters.

James Price, chief executive, Transport for Wales, commented: “We’re at the beginning of an exciting new journey as we transform our transport network and deliver a new vision for transport, with the people and places of Wales at the heart of our mission. Stadler’s rolling stock will play a key role in in this transformation.”

Sales director at Stadler Rail Ralf Warwel said the new technology, when rolled out nationwide, will bring the industry “one step closer” to being carbon neutral.

“Stadler is very proud to have been chosen to supply this unique and innovative fleet of rolling stock for the Wales and Borders franchise,” he added. “The introduction of new rolling stock in South Wales will be appreciated by passengers not only because of the high levels of comfort but also thanks to the use of the latest battery power technology.”

In 2019, 58 new Stadler trains will be introduced on the Greater Anglia network following the beginning of testing in Switzerland in May, and 52 will enter service in the Liverpool City Region by 2020.

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Image credit: Stadler


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