Translink receives first three of 21 new train carriages
All 21 new carriages are expected to be in operation by summer 2022 and will enhance the capacity of the existing Translink fleet.
Credit: Translink - New train carriages arrive.
Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, has welcomed the delivery of the first three of 21 new train carriages that will enhance the capacity of the existing Translink fleet.
The delivery of the new carriages – made by Spanish train manufacturer, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) – marks a major step in the development of the local rail network, supporting Northern Ireland’s green recovery. The project, which also includes changes to depot infrastructure, represents a total investment of over £60 million from Northern Ireland’s Department for Infrastructure.
The 21 new carriages will be used to convert the capacity of seven existing Class 4000 three-car trains to six-car sets. The existing trains are currently undergoing major refurbishments. The result will feel like completely new trains throughout, with the first one due to enter passenger service in autumn 2021 following intensive testing and commissioning.
Welcoming the new arrivals, Nichola said: “My priority as Minister is to work on transport infrastructure that improves people’s lives, connects communities and tackles the climate emergency through prioritising active and sustainable transport options. I believe that rail has huge untapped potential to deliver multiple benefits across our island. It is, therefore, vital that we continue to invest in and modernise our rail network as we work to build back greener and more responsibly from COVID-19.”
“This significant investment of over £60 million by my department in new rail carriages and depot infrastructure will ensure that we can offer attractive rail travel for future generations, encourage more people to use public transport and, in doing so, tackle the climate crisis. So, I am delighted to be here today to see the arrival of the first three new carriages which will come into service later this year, providing passengers on some of our busiest routes with more capacity, space and comfort on their journeys,” she added.
Chris Conway, Group Chief Executive at Translink, said: “Translink is leading a transport transformation, and this latest major milestone is further good news for our customers. When all of the new carriages are in operation, it will mean around 1,600 more train seats available on our network. This development is crucial as we emerge from the pandemic, re-building and growing public transport use, which had reached record levels pre-COVID-19.”
“The new carriages will also be more energy efficient as we aim to tackle the climate emergency and air pollution levels, alongside increasing sustainable transport use whilst also supporting key outcomes in the draft programme for government. We’d like to thank CAF for their ongoing hard work to deliver these trains on schedule and the Department for Infrastructure for essential project funding. We look forward to keeping our customers informed as the carriage rollout progresses,” he continued.
The ‘walk-through’ six-car train roll-out will be phased, with all 21 of the new carriages due to enter passenger service by summer 2022.