TfW Class 756 tri-mode at Rail Live 2023

Transport for Wales’ Class 756 FLIRT unit will showcase at this year’s Rail Live. 

A version of Stadler’s new tri-mode will be among the main rolling stock attractions for visitors to Europe’s largest outdoor rail exhibition, which takes place at Porterbrook’s Long Marston Rail Innovation Centre (Warwickshire) on June 21-22.

Once completed, some 24 Class 756s will be introduced on South Wales Metro services, powered by electricity on lines to the north of Cardiff and diesel to the south, to provide cross-city connectivity. 

Seamless travel will be promoted through use of the overhead lines at 25kV, and through on-board battery power (located in the powerpack, which is separate from the passenger area) on non-electrified lines. Both battery and electric mode will reduce noise. 

Diesel power is limited to specific areas, to keep emissions to a minimum. Complying with the latest TSI-standards, the vehicles have been tailored to TfW’s needs and designed to suit the local infrastructure. 

Low flooring ensures level boarding, making it simpler for passengers to get on and off, thereby reducing dwell time. Air-conditioning, new passenger information systems, WiFi, and areas for wheelchairs, bicycles and pushchairs also all feature. 

With more than 2,000 trains sold in 20 countries, FLIRT UK is part of Stadler’s successful FLIRT global family of trains.

Another highlight for Rail Live 2023 will be the ‘Network Rail village’ featuring live track demonstrations, NR’s own signalling zone, its road vehicle fleet, Air Operations, and Robodog! 

Spot (the dog) is an agile mobile robot with 360° perception to map terrain (avoiding obstacles) and to explore without boundaries.

Created by Boston Dynamics, it can detect radiation, complete thermal inspections, and gather data in its ‘shiny yellow coat’. Carrying up to 14kg of inspection equipment, it enables routine inspection tasks to capture data safely, accurately and frequently.

NR’s village will also have track engineering demonstrations by its Wales and Western region, where examples of innovative equipment will be shown. 

Displays are being developed with the three Rail Systems Alliances for the event, as well as display vehicles. These will include a Mobile Maintenance Train, track tamper, Road Rail Vehicles, and a Universal Material Handling Wagon able to receive materials from either MFS+ or MFS and distribute material via a series of conveyors.

And Network Rail’s Air Operations team will showcase their helicopters, where visitors can see the high-tech cameras and equipment used to provide aerial surveys of the railway.  

Bringing the rail industry together at a single event, Rail Live will gather some of the leading industry professionals to speak in the Main Theatre - including Network Rail Chairman Lord Hendy of Richmond Hill, and NR Chief Executive Andrew Haines. HS2 Ltd CEO Mark Thurston will also speak over the two days, as will HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser CBE, and Office of Rail and Road CEO John Larkinson.Rail Live is a trade show for individuals working in the rail industry, with more than 6,000 vistors and 200-plus exhibitors expected to attend. For more details, including how to register, please visit: 

Read this story in RAIL 982

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