New trains ordered by Transport for Wales are being displayed this week in Berlin at InnoTrans, which is the world’s leading trade fair for transport technology.
Among those on display will be FLIRT tri-mode trains that can operate on electric or battery power, but have a diesel engine for use when appropriate and have strong environmental credentials.
The train’s builder, Stadler, is officially unveiling seven vehicles at InnoTrans, three of which are destined for the UK market. The FLIRTs are intended for use on the Valley lines north of Cardiff to provide an innovative and cost-effective way of providing a fully electric, environmentally friendly service. Also on display will be Transport for Wales’ CITYLINK tram-trains and a METRO IPEMU for the Liverpool City Region.
Stadler and Transport for Wales signed a contract in January 2019 for 35 FLIRT vehicles and 36 CITYLINK tram-trains. Twenty-four of the FLIRTs will be tri-modes, and by using battery power they will provide an all-electric service north of Cardiff without the expense of costly infrastructure upgrades.
Seven three-car and 17 four-car tri-mode and 11 diesel-operated FLIRT trains have been ordered. All are fitted with power sockets and feature air-conditioning, dedicated areas for wheelchairs, pushchairs, bicycles with space for up to six bikes, and passenger information screens that display up-to-the-minute travel information. Low flooring at every door will make it easier for passengers to get on and off and reduce station stop times.
The first FLIRT trains were delivered in November 2021, since when they have undergone testing on Transport for Wales’ local network and will be introduced into passenger service later this year.
Ralf Warwel, sales director for the UK and Ireland at Stadler, said: “This train boasts compelling environmental credentials and will bring about a step-change in passenger travel. It illustrates Stadler’s pledge to provide ever greener solutions, supporting the decarbonisation of the railway, both in Wales and beyond.”
Alexia Course, Transport for Wales chief commercial officer, said: “We’re extremely proud to have our new Stadler trains on show at InnoTrans this year and we’re excited to start introducing them to our Wales and Borders network over the coming months and years. We’re on a transformational journey at Transport for Wales and these new trains are a key part of improving the customer experience, so that we can encourage more people to travel sustainably on public transport. These are modern trains, with high-quality features that will offer our customers more accessible, reliable and greener transport.”