Northern Ireland’s 20 news trains now under production in Spain
Posted: 1 June 2010 | | No comments yet
Production of Translink NI Railways’ new Class 4000 trains is now underway in Zaragoza, Northern Spain.
Spanish Rail Manufacturer CAF, who specialize in the design and production of rail rolling stock for passenger transport, will build all 20 new trains that are due to start arriving in Northern Ireland next year. Representing an investment of £105 million, they will replace 13 older models and will operate alongside an existing fleet of 23 Class 3000 trains also previously delivered by CAF in 2005.
Transport Minister Conor Murphy said:
“I welcome the assurances from Translink that this investment in new trains is proceeding according to plan. The investment secured from my Department for this project along with improvements delivered and planned on the rail network, is about ensuring an improved service for train passengers and the delivery of quality transport infrastructure which will support the local economy.”
Speaking about progress to date, Catherine Mason, Group Chief Executive, Translink, said:
“This is an exciting period in the overall project which is continuing to progress on schedule. Rolling Stock production is a bespoke process as trains must be compatible with local infrastructure. After 12 months of planning, production is now underway and we expect to complete the first train car body shell this summer. We are also incorporating public preferences into the new design following our consultation carried out with customers and other stakeholders. And of course we have been able to build on the experience gained from our current Class 3000 trains.
“We are working closely with CAF on all levels of the manufacturing process and our engineers are making regular visits to inspect work and monitor progress. Soon we will also have a permanent presence in Zaragoza to help ensure the project is delivered as planned. CAF has been successful in implementing rail systems across the world and we are confident these new trains will meet the highest standards of performance, comfort and safety expected by our passengers.”
A series of infrastructure developments are also required in order to prepare for the arrival of the new fleet, including: the construction of a new purpose-built train maintenance facility; station platform extensions due to start this Autumn to facilitate longer six-car trains and further network upgrades will be required to further improve frequency and service patterns.