Debut for TfW’s new Stadler trains
TRANSPORT FOR Wales introduced the first of its new Stadler fleets in South Wales in January when a Class 231 DEMU began operating on the Rhymney to Penarth line.
TfW has ordered 11x4-car Class 231 DEMUs to Stadler’s Flirt design. All 11 of the type have been accepted by TfW, although initially only one was in service each day, starting from 18 January.
The units are similar to the Class 755 bi-modes operated by Greater Anglia, but as DEMUs do not have a pantograph. They also have two sets of doors on each driving vehicle (as opposed to one on the ‘755s’) and only one toilet, which is accessible.
The ‘231s’ were ordered by TfW for services from Cardiff to Maesteg, Ebbw Vale and Cheltenham, but are being deployed on the Rhymney line first to enable the withdrawal of Class 769 DEMUs. TfW Chief Operations Officer Jan Chaudhryvan der Velde told Modern Railways: ‘They could all be in use by May. We will move as fast as we can on that.’