Transport for Wales has promised a “transformation” of services across the country, following the official launch of its new Class 197 fleet.
The ceremony at Llandudno station on January 26 came some 11 weeks after the first of the new trains (197004) entered service on the Conwy Valley Line last November (RAIL 971).
Since then, a further 11 of the CAF diesel multiple units (DMUs) have been accepted into traffic and introduced onto additional routes, including Manchester Airport-Llandudno and Liverpool-Chester via the Halton Curve.
Built in Wales at CAF’s factory in Newport, the ‘197’ fleet had been expected to enter service in mid-2021, before production, testing and driver training were all hampered by the pandemic.
The order in 2018 for the 77 trains (51 two-car and 26 three-car) forms part of TfW’s £800 million wider investment in new rolling stock.
The DMUs will eventually ply their trade alongside a further 71 new trains and tram-trains being built by Stadler for the South Wales Metro. The first of these (231007) entered passenger service on January 18 (see separate story, below).
“This is a landmark day in the history of TfW and the Welsh rail industry, with the unveiling of the first brand new trains in Wales in a generation,” said TfW CEO James Price.
“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.”
To read the full story, see RAIL 976
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