PASSENGERS using the Wales and Borders network will have access to more seats and improved trains from this month as part of a £15m investment by Transport for Wales.
The latest four-carriage Class 769 – offering greater capacity, more room and better accessibility – went into all-day service at the end of February and the first of the new-look Class 150s leaves TfW’s Canton depot this week ready for use across the Wales and Borders network.
They are part of a wider investment of more than £15m to provide customers with trains offering more seats, better accessibility and revamped interiors.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said: “Improving the quality of our trains was a big motivation behind the investment in our rail network we’ve made through Transport for Wales.
“Helping more people use public transport not only requires convenient and reliable services, but also high-quality trains and stations that makes the rail network more attractive to use. It’s therefore really good news to see this progress being made.”
TfW will be introducing nine Class 769s trains in total, with two trains now in service every day and more to be added throughout the rest of 2021.
They will be used from Cardiff Central to Rhymney initially, stopping at number of towns along the route including Caerphilly, Ystrad Mynach and Bargoed. Use of Class 769 trains, known as Flex trains, will be extended to Penarth once further trains are in place later this year.
TfW is also carrying out major refurbishment work on their fleet of Class 150 Sprinter trains that run throughout the Wales and Borders network. The work will see all thirty-six of the two-car trains having their interior fully refurbished and modernised as well as being given new TfW livery on the exterior.
Seats will be re-covered and new signage will be installed for priority seats and wheelchair and bicycle spaces.
Alexia Course, Director of Transport Operations at TfW, added: “We are continuing with our transformational programme and the Flex trains we’re introducing will provide more seats, space and improved accessibility. We’re also investing in our thirty-six Class 150 Sprinter trains to improve the customer experience throughout Wales and the Borders.
“We’re continuing to face the huge challenges presented by the pandemic and that’s why it’s so important that we look to provide more seats and space on our trains, as well as modern refreshed interior.
“The safety of our customers and colleagues continues to be our top priority and we’re investing for the future when restrictions ease. Currently, I’d like to reinforce the Welsh Government’s message, that public transport is for essential travel only, when there are no alternatives available.”
Photo credit: TfW