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The first of the long delayed Class 769 Flex Trains for TfW has entered passenger service.
769002 ran on the 07.14 service between Rhymey and Cardiff central on November 16th.These trains are diesel powered only with the original pantographs and third rail pick up gear removed.
TfW have ordered nine Class 769's which will provide more capacity compared to the trains they will replace. They will release current Sprinter trains to be refurbished to meet new accessibility regulations.
In the meantime brand new trains for the South Wales Metro and the Wales and Borders network are under construction.
Transport for Wales (TfW) is investing £800 million into new trains and tram-trains for the Wales and Borders network and the South Wales Metro.
Class 197 Civity trains – for use on other Wales and Borders routes – are currently being assembled at CAF’s factory in Llanwern.
Progress is also being made on the Class 398 tram-trains and work has started on the Class 231 trains - both are being built by Stadler for the South Wales Metro.
Transport for Wales chief executive James Price said: “It’s great to see progress on our brand-new trains. I’m delighted our partners at CAF and Stadler have been able to progress with assembly despite the challenging situation we find ourselves in.
“COVID-19 will continue to present challenges but we’ve been able to move forward and we’ve now seen huge progress on our trains at our Taff’s Well Depot as well as successful delivery of track transformation work on the Aberdare line
“TfW is continuing to deliver on our transformational plans and these faster, more efficient trains are fundamental to improving journey times, service frequency and our sustainability goals.”
TfW is also carrying out testing of the Class 769 trains on the Cardiff to Rhymney line. These larger trains offer more seating and better accessibility and are hoped to be introduced in all-day service this month.
TfW Transformation Programme Director, Frank Renault, said: “The manufacturing of our new fleets and operation of the Class 769 trains are big steps forward on our transformation journey, in difficult times.
“I’d like to thank our dedicated project managers and engineering colleagues for their tireless efforts in delivering this project, our delivery partners for their professionalism and resolve, and - most importantly - our passengers for their understanding and support.”
This article first appeared on www.focustransport.org
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