Wales awaits new fleets

A new train transformation is on the way in Wales and the Borders, as PHILIP SHERRATT explains

Transport for Wales currently has the second oldest rolling stock fleet on the UK network. According to Office of Rail and Road statistics, only Merseyrail has a fleet with a higher average age.

That is all set to change – over the next few years new trains from CAF and Stadler will be introduced as part of an £800 million investment that is seeing every train in TfW’s fleet replaced. From nearly 30 years at present, by 2023 the average age of TfW’s fleet is set to fall to just seven years.

The new trains were ordered following KeolisAmey’s winning Wales and Borders franchise bid, announced in 2018. The recent move of operations to an in-house subsidiary of TfW is not altering the plans for new trains – CAF and Stadler have both begun construction of the new fleets already – but is providing the opportunity for refinement of the fleet strategy to respond to the changing circumstances since the contract was let, with further details expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

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