Video: First new Transport for Wales £800m fleet of trains unveiled

New Class 197 trains which will become the backbone of TfW’s services across the length of the Wales and Borders network have been revealed.

TfW train reveal

Credit: TfW

The first of Transport for Wales’ (TfW) brand new £800m fleet of trains has been officially launched by Lesley Griffiths MS at a ceremony in North Wales. Built by leading train manufacturer CAF, the 77 (51 two-car and 26 three-car) new Class 197 trains will become the backbone of TfW’s services across the length and breadth of the Wales and Borders network in the coming years. A video of the new Class 197 can be found below.

The new Class 197 trains

Offering leather seats, modern air conditioning systems, wider doors and customer information screens, the brand-new trains will play a key role in TfW’s plans to transform the customer experience on its services. The new trains entered into passenger service on the Conwy Valley line at the end of 2022 and were unveiled at a ceremony at Llandudno railway station.

“Funded by our £800m investment in a new fleet of trains, the Class 197s play an important part in our plans to transform rail services in Wales,” Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, said. “Having travelled on the Class 197s, I can vouch for the greater comfort, speed and capacity offered by these new trains that will not only be used by Welsh passengers but were also made in Wales.”

“I was very pleased to officially launch Transport for Wales’ impressive new trains in Llandudno,” Lesley Griffiths, Minister for North Wales, said. “This made-in-Wales fleet signals an important improvement to rail services and I’m sure passengers will enjoy travelling across North Wales lines on the Class 197s.”

Providing an increase in capacity and enhanced comfort onboard, the new trains will allow TfW to run faster and more frequent services to destinations such as Holyhead, Fishguard and Liverpool. The 77 trains being built by CAF have also been fitted with electronic charging points and disability features for those with limited mobility.

 “The official launch of the Class 197s is a landmark day in the history of Transport for Wales and the Welsh rail industry, with the unveiling of the first brand new trains in Wales in a generation,” James Price, CEO of Transport for Wales, said. “The construction of our new trains has been four years in the making, and we’re incredibly proud and excited to formally welcome passengers onto them. The trains will be an important part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network and will enable us to run more services and carry more customers in comfort. It’s also important to recognise that these trains have been made in Wales at the CAF factory in Newport and the building of them has provided jobs and supported the local economy.”

“We are extremely proud to play a key role in delivering TfW’s commitment to transform rail travel for passengers, ensuring a high quality, reliable and comfortable journey,” Richard Garner, UK Director for CAF, said. “Our trains are being built in Wales to serve the Welsh communities, supporting highly skilled jobs and bringing local employment opportunities whilst focusing on sustainability issues and addressing the needs of the Welsh economy.”

The Class 197s will sit alongside the 71 brand new trains and tram-trains being built for the South Wales Metro, the first of which has recently entered into passenger service. A total of 148 brand new trains will deliver faster, more frequent and greener services.

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