Transport for Wales’ (TfW) brand new £800m fleet of trains has been officially launched today, with Lesley Griffiths MS unveiling the Class 197 at a ceremony in North Wales.
This new modern fleet, built by leading train manufacturer CAF, will deliver modernised transport for passengers, providing them with plush leather seats, innovative air conditioning systems and accessibility boosting features such as wider doors, enhanced customer information screens and disability features for those with limited mobility.
The trains have also been fitted with electronic charging points, improving the environmental impact of travel along the route.
Speaking about this event, Minister for North Wales, Lesley Griffiths said:
“I was very pleased to officially launch Transport for Wales’ impressive new trains in Llandudno today.
“This made-in-Wales fleet signals an important improvement to rail services and I’m sure passengers will enjoy travelling across North Wales lines on the Class 197s.”
The 77 newly integrated Class 197’s will become the focal point of TfW’s fleet moving forward, covering the length and breadth of Wales for years to come. The inaugural passenger service of these trains came at the end of 2022 on the Conwy Valley.
The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said:
“This is great news. Funded by our £800m investment in a new fleet of trains, the Class 197s play an important part in our plans to transform rail services in Wales.
“Having travelled on the Class 197s, I can vouch for the greater comfort, speed and capacity offered by these new trains that will not only be used by Welsh passengers but were also made in Wales.”
The 77 new additions will provide an increased level of capacity through allowing TfW to run faster and more frequent services to destinations such as Holyhead, Fishguard and Liverpool.
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO, said:
“The official launch of the Class 197s is a landmark day in the history of Transport for Wales and the Welsh rail industry, with the unveiling of the first brand new trains in Wales in a generation.
“The construction of our new trains has been four years in the making, and we’re incredibly proud and excited to formally welcome passengers onto them. The trains will be an important part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network and will enable us to run more services and carry more customers in comfort.
“It’s also important to recognise that these trains have been made in Wales at the CAF factory in Newport and the building of them has provided jobs and supported the local economy.”
The 77 Class197’s will be accompanied by 71 brand new trains and trams that are being built for South Wales Metro. The 148 total new additions will transform rail travel in the region through faster, cleaner and greener services that will maximise line capacities.
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