UK: CAF Preferred Bidder to Supply Trains for KeolisAmey Wales and Borders Franchise
KeolisAmey Wales, which won the 15-year contract to operate the Wales and Borders franchise in May 2018, and will commence operations in October 2018, has announced that CAF is its preferred bidder to supply 70 diesel multiple units (DMU’s) for the service.
The operator and the manufacturer are in final negotiations to arrange the supply and maintenance of 44 two-carriage units and 26 three-carriage units by 2022. An additional 7 two-carriage units will be delivered to KeliosAmey by September, 2024.
Richard Garner, CAF’s UK Director, said:
“We are delighted to have been selected by KeolisAmey as the preferred bidder to supply trains for the Wales and Borders rail franchise. We look forward to working with KeolisAmey and playing our part in delivering its commitment to transform the railway and support the growth of the local economy in Newport and Wales. Our high-quality, reliable and comfortable trains will enhance customer experience across this important rail network.”
Colin Lea, Mobilisation Director at KeolisAmey Wales Cymru, said:
“We would like to thank CAF for working collaboratively with us to design trains, which, in line with KeolisAmey values, put the passenger needs at their heart, with state-of-the-art passenger features, ample legroom, and seats aligned with windows to enjoy the wonderful scenery of the routes they will serve.”
The units will be built at CAF’s new facility in the Celtic Business Park site in Newport, South Wales. CAF has invested £30m in the facility, which should be completed by autumn 2018, but it is also supported by a grant from the Welsh Government’s Inward Investment Programme. The facility, which will support 300 jobs, is part of CAF’s plans to grow its business in the UK. The company also plans to foster a ‘cluster’ of local and national suppliers to provide components for the trains.
Ken Skates, Transport Secretary in the Welsh Government, said:
“Our £5bn investment in the new rail service will deliver not only vastly improved train services but also very real job opportunities and economic benefits that will be felt in communities right across Wales. The majority of the new trains running in our transformed rail service will genuinely be ‘Made in Wales’ with the economic benefits of their production being retained and enjoyed locally.”
The DMU’s are based on the company’s UK Civity model, which is designed for commuter and regional services; the interior design specifications include air conditioning and wi-fi.
The Wales and Borders franchise will be operated by Arriva Trains Wales until October 2018.