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New fleet aiming to “transform experience for rail users” to launch on Wrexham-Bidston line this year

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Monday, Apr 1st, 2019.

The Welsh Government minister for economy and transport has visited the rolling stock manufacturer supplying the new fleet of trains for the Wrexham to Bidston line.

Stratford upon-Avon based Vivarail will supply the ‘new’ Transport for Wales trains that, it is hoped, will transform the customer experience for rail users in North Wales.

The new trains, which have been converted from retired London Underground D78 stock, are part of the £5 billion investment being made by Transport for Wales across Wales.

The fleet of Class 230 D-Trains are expected to come into service on the Wrexham to Bidston line later this year.

The trains which use aluminium bodyshells of withdrawn London Underground D78 metro trains have fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning.

The new hybrid units use both diesel and batteries and will provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly service the government says.

Each train will have three carriages containing 125 seats with a total capacity of 293.

North Wales will be the first to benefit from the additions to the fleet along the Wrexham to Bidston, Crewe to Chester and Llandudno to Blaenau Ffestiniog routes.

Minister for Economy and Transport Ken Skates said the new fleet will “transform the experience for rail passengers”.

“It’s been great to visit our rolling stock manufacturer, Vivarail and to see the Transport for Wales trains that will be running on routes in North Wales later this year,” continued Mr Skates.

“We’ve had an opportunity to take a ride on the trains on Vivarail’s test track and gain a real understanding of the hybrid engine.

“Not only will these transform the experience on board for rail passengers in North Wales, they will use 25 per cent less fuel and have a regenerative braking system that captures energy back into the batteries.

“These modern trains demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and the environment, as well as our ambitious plans to transform the experience for rail users.

“The Welsh Government is absolutely committed to improving our rail services and through our investment I am confident over the coming years people across Wales will be benefiting from the best passenger rail service in the UK which will be a vital step change as we leave the European Union.”

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO added: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Transport for Wales. Our new trains with hybrid engines and modern facilities will significantly improve the customer experience.

“We are continuing our journey to transform the transport network in Wales and deliver on our promises.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our staff and partners, who are helping us achieve our vision.”

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