29 Mar 2023
The first of the brand-new South Wales Metro trains were today (29 March) launched by Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS at a ceremony in Caerphilly, signifying the start of a new transport era.
The Class 231 Fast Light Intercity and Regional Trains (FLIRTs), built by leading manufacturer Stadler, are part of the £800 million investment Transport for Wales is making in brand-new trains for the Wales and Borders network.
Providing increased capacity with more and improved seating, modern air conditioning, power sockets and passenger information screens with up-to-the-minute travel information, the new trains will transform the customer experience.
With the first one officially launched on the Rhymney Valley line today, TfW will continue to introduce 35 of these trains over the coming years throughout South Wales, along with 36 electric tram-trains.
Each train will have space for up to six bikes and automatic level boarding to assist those with limited mobility.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “Travelling on these new carriages is such a different experience from travelling on the old ones. There’s more room, it’s much more comfortable and it is quieter and smoother. Come and give them a try.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “This is another key milestone for TfW, these brand-new Class 231 trains will transform the customer experience and signify the first deliverable of the South Wales Metro. People are now starting to see transformation across our network with the introduction of brand-new, modern trains that will attract people to use public transport.
“We introduced our CAF Class 197 to the network at the start of the year and we’re proud today to launch another brand-new train in the Stadler Class 231 train. The South Wales Metro is a phased project and today signifies it is now starting to be delivered.”
Urs Bikle, Stadler’s Head of Engineering in Bussnang, added: “Stadler is delighted to see the first of the 71 trains we are delivering for Wales and the Borders enter passenger service. Thirty-five of these are FLIRTs, our best-selling product, of which we have sold 2,500 in 21 countries.
“Designed with the passenger in mind, they enjoy high levels of comfort, operational performance, reliability and versatility. Level-boarding features throughout the train to make getting on and off easier for everyone, maintenance-friendly devices and components keep operating costs low, and lightweight aluminium bodyshells promote environmental efficiency.”
Notes to editors
Media are invited to the official launch of the Class 231s at Caerphilly station from 10am on Wednesday 29 March. To confirm your attendance please email email@example.com