Assembled by the CAF company in Newport, South Wales, the first Class 197 train with its ‘Made in Wales’ label was revealed to the public today, giving customers a taste of what’s to come in the coming months.
Transport for Wales is spending £800million on new trains across the network and the Class 197 will be the first of brand new stock to enter service in North Wales before the end of this year.
Offering increased capacity, reduced emissions and improved onboard comfort, these trains will enable TfW to offer faster and more frequent services on key routes.
Offering leather seats, modern air conditioning systems, wider doors and customer information screens, the new trains will transform the customer experience. They have also been equipped with electronic charging stations and features for people with reduced mobility.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change and responsible for transport, Lee Waters, said: “I am delighted to welcome the new Class 197 trains to the rail network. These new vehicles represent a truly transformational improvement on the trains they will replace, providing comfortable and frequent services, encouraging people to ditch their cars and switch to a more sustainable mode of transport.
Alexia Course, Director of Transport Operations at TfW, said: “At Transport for Wales, we are continuously making progress with our transformation plans to improve public transport for the people of Wales and the Borders.
“The Class 197s on display at Chester station today will be an important part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network, and when they enter service they will allow us to operate more services and carry more customers around comfort.
“Our new trains have taken four years to build, and customers and colleagues are incredibly excited to welcome passengers on board them from the end of this year.
“It is also important to recognize that these trains were manufactured in Wales at the CAF factory in Newport and that their construction created jobs and supported the local economy.”
Richard Garner, CAF UK Director, said: “CAF is delighted that the first of our Class 197 trains for the Wales and Borders network has been officially launched.
“We are extremely proud of our key role in delivering Transport for Wales’ vision to transform rail travel for passengers.
“The manufacture of our trains takes place at our state-of-the-art factory in Newport, South Wales. We see ourselves as a local manufacturer, supporting highly skilled jobs and providing employment opportunities in the region whilst focusing on sustainability issues and meeting the needs of the Welsh economy.
Our trains are built in Wales to serve Welsh communities”