Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates visits Vivarail

Image showing Ken Skates at Vivarail manufacturing facility

03rd April 2019

The Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates has recently visited rolling stock manufacturer Vivarail to see the new TfW Rail trains that will transform the customer experience for rail passengers in North Wales. Part of a £5 billion investment by Transport for Wales, the trains are expected to go into service in North Wales during 2019.

With fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning, the trains are a significant milestone for Transport for Wales, as they continue to deliver on their plans to transform rail services throughout Wales and the borders. The additional trains will provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly service using diesel and batteries. The new hybrid units will be the first used in regular passenger service in the UK.

Each train will consist of three carriages that have 125 seats and a total capacity of 293 passengers. The Wrexham to Bidston route is expected to be the first to benefit from these trains, followed by the Crewe to Chester and Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog routes.

Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said:

“It’s been great to visit our rolling stock manufacturer, Vivarail and to see the Transport for Wales trains that will be running on routes in North Wales later this year. We’ve had an opportunity to take a ride on the trains on Vivarail’s test track and gain a real understanding of the hybrid engine. Not only will these transform the experience on board for rail passengers in North Wales, they will use 25 per cent less fuel and have a regenerative braking system that captures energy back into the batteries.

“These modern trains demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and the environment, as well as our ambitious plans to transform the experience for rail users. The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to improving our rail services and through our investment I am confident over the coming years people across Wales will be benefiting from the best passenger rail service in the UK which will be a vital step change as we leave the European Union.”

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO added:

“Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Transport for Wales. Our new trains with hybrid engines and modern facilities will significantly improve the customer experience. We are continuing our journey to transform the transport network in Wales and deliver on our promises. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and partners, who are helping us achieve our vision.”

Sara Holland, Transport for Wales Rail Services Rolling Stock Director said:

“Passenger safety, security and comfort is our priority. As an agile and flexible supplier, Vivarail are working with us to design and manufacture rail solutions that work for us and our customers. We are really looking forward to bringing the new trains to North Wales later this year.”

Author: Darren Porter
Image: Transport for Wales Rail