Transport for Wales (TfW) has opened the South Wales Infrastructure Hub, from which TfW wants to deliver the next phase of transforming the valley railway lines for the South Wales Metro project. Located at Treforest, the hub contains distribution facilities and management offices.
This phase of the South Wales Metro is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund via Welsh government, the Cardiff Capital Region and the UK DfT.
The purpose of the infrastructure hub is to be central in delivering and maintaining the metro. In the first five years TfW will use it as a materials distribution centre. Following phase 1 of the transformation, it will shift into being a maintenance depot until the current rail service contract ends.
The hub’s management offices will accommodate 200 employees so that the project will benefit from a centralised location.
“It's a privilege to open the Treforest Metro Infrastructure Hub as this signifies a huge step forward for Transport for Wales and delivery of the next phase of the South Wales Metro. The South Wales Metro is going to transform the way people travel in South Wales, providing social, business and economic opportunities.
“Transport for Wales are investing three quarters of a million pounds into the next phase of the South Wales Metro and this new facility will be at the heart of the progress being made over the next few years, and into the future.”
The South Wales Metro aims to integrate heavy rail with light rail and bus services in south Wales and around Cardiff. It is a revitalisation of rail transport in the region following the Beeching cuts of the 1960s. The initial procurement for the project started in July 2016. In May 2018 KeolisAmey Wales won the contract. As part of the project there will be 800 million GBP for new trains and light rail cars in TfW branding. Half of all the new trains are to be assembled in Wales. For the light rail vehicles the South Wales Metro will use tram-train technology, meaning that the light rail cars can run on conventional rails as well as in electric tram mode. Tri-mode trains meanwhile will combine low-emission diesel, battery and 25kV electric power.
194 million GBP will go towards modernising all of Wales’s 247 stations. All of the stations will run on renewable energy.
By 2023 Cardiff will get its first on-street tramway in 70 years.
Of this 5bn GBP project, 159 million GBP has come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Brexit is now putting time pressure on aspects of the project as this funding will not be available after 2022.
“Through unifying rail, bus and active travel routes, the South Wales Metro will significantly improve connectivity throughout South Wales and provide access to jobs, leisure and other opportunities for the people of Wales.
“Our investment will see over 170km of track electrified and the upgrading of track and signalling along with the creation and improvement of station facilities.
“Revolutionising transport for local communities, this phase of the South Wales Metro will bring quicker journeys, greater capacity, more frequent and reliable services with the offer with more affordable travel.”
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