Transport for Wales £40 million fleet investment bears first fruits
The £6.7 investment in the Class 175 trains will see improvements such as USB charging points, plug sockets, new seat covers, carpets, train toilets as TfW strives to meet the needs of the modern day passenger.
Passengers travelling on mainline routes in Wales are set to enjoy the benefits of USB and electric charging points, better seats and brand new on train toilets as part of an investment in Transport for Wales long distance trains.
The improvement works, designed to improve passenger experience and comfort, form part of a £40 million investment in their fleet by Transport for Wales (TfW).
As well as USB and plug sockets, improvement works will include newly covered seats and new carpets. Interior fittings including table covers will be replaced too, while the exterior will be rebranded in TfW colours.
The first completed Class 175 train rolled off the production line in Alstom’s Technology Centre in Widnes, Cheshire this week.
The Class 175 forms the backbone of TfW’s current express service. All 27 trains within the Class 175 fleet will be upgraded, with work due to be completed by 2020, at a cost of £6.7 million. The rest of the £40 million investment will be spent across the rest of the TfW fleet in the coming months.
“It’s fantastic to be able to deliver these improvements for customers, which they rightly expect to see on a modern railway network,” commented Colin Lea, TfW Rail Services Customer Experience Director.
“We know being able to travel in comfort and charge devices on the go are incredibly important [concerns] for our customers, whether they are travelling for 20 minutes or four hours, for business or pleasure.
“While we are investing more than £800 million in brand new trains, they take time to build and we want our customers to have a comfortable experience right now. So, this significant investment is another major step to building a better railway for current and future generations.”
Piers Wood, Managing Director Rolling Stock and Services, Alstom UK said: “The Class 175s have been in successful service over the last 20 years, and thanks to our fantastic team at Widnes, will be back in service in top condition within 12 months. Widnes has enormous potential to grow and be a focal point for the rail industry in the North West and UK.”