News that the new operators of Wales and Borders rail services have unveiled their plans, promising to spend Â£800m on new trains and to increase capacity by two thirds is welcome
According to the BBC and it looks to be very Cardiff centricAnd so it seems with the Wasting Mule in what seems to be mainly from a press release from KeolisAmey rather than “entirely new” some are going to be refurbished London underground stock
“A fleet of old London Underground trains are set to receive a new lease of life on Welsh railway lines.
Plans have been unveiled for a flagship fleet which will see former District line Tube trains gutted and updated to be used in Wales as soon as next summer.
The trains, which are taken from London Underground D78 stock, will feature wifi, USB ports, plug sockets and extra space for bikes and luggage and can run on both diesel and battery.
But they will be upcycled from the bodyshells of trains originally made in the 1980s and installed with a new motor.
Replacing Arriva Trains Wales in the biggest ever contract awarded in Wales, the company will also take over and deliver the next phase of the Metro project.
Now images of the companyâ€™s newest hybrid trains have been released following the decision to name English train manufacturer Vivarail the preferred bidder for the work.
Under plans announced yesterday the fleet of Class 230 D-Trains will come into service as part of the franchise across three routes â€“ Wrexham to Bidston, Conwy Valley, and Chester to Crewe.
The fleet of five three-car trains will boast features including universal toilets, air conditioning, and a â€œnew seating layoutâ€�.
Adrian Shooter, CEO of Vivarail, said:
â€œThis is a very exciting day for us and we are proud to be supplying the first of the new trains for Wales.
â€œWe know that KeolisAmey want to bring the best new trains to their passengers so our interior layout has been designed to do exactly that.
â€œAs well as the wide and spacious carriages the trains will have a universal access toilet, wifi, air conditioning, USB ports and three-pin sockets.
â€œThere will be a range of seating layouts and plenty of space for bikes and luggage. With KeolisAmey we have been determined to give passengers the very best travelling experience and the trains they deserve: modern, comfortable, reliable and environmentally friendly.â€�
This looks a bit different from the previous announcement that
- All trains will be replaced and with 95% of journeys will be on brand new trains by 2023
- Half of all new trains will be assembled in Wales.
“Under plans announced yesterday the fleet of Class 230 D-Trains will come into service as part of the franchise across three routes â€“ Wrexham to Bidston, Conwy Valley, and Chester to Crewe”.
Unless I missed the Welsh Assembly annexing Chester, what part of the Welsh Rail network is “Chester to Crewe”.We need proper scrutiny of KeolisAmey plans from both the Assembly and Welsh media.
At the moment all we seem to have is fancy press releases that promise much but almost immediacy seem to change from new trains to refurbished.
I hope I am wrong but in 0 years time we will be still be seeing Welsh commuters travelling on clapped out trains on not one line electrified (is “Chester to Crewe”electrified?).
Mind you we will probably still have a Labour Government in Cardiff Bay promising us a glorious future for Welsh transport.