by Keri Allan
25 May 2021
The transformation of the Wales and Borders network has moved another step closer with the first of the brand-new Class 197 diesel multiple units coming off the production line.
These new trains will provide enhanced comfort for Transport for Wales (TfW) customers with features such as leather seats (first class), stain-resistant seats and a modern air-conditioning/heating system.
The Class 197 trains also come equipped with a smart seat reservations system. Seat reservations will be downloaded from the reservation computer each time train crew change ends on the train.
The bodyshells of the Class 197 Civity trains were built in Beasain, northern Spain, by Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF, before final assembly took place at the company’s factory in Llanwern, Newport.
“CAF is proud to be playing a key role in delivering TfW's commitment to transform rail travel. Our 'Made in Wales' trains put the passengers' needs first and will ensure a high quality, reliable and comfortable journey across the Welsh rail network.”
Testing (197001 and 197002) has begun in north Wales and northern England on the first two of 77 new trains (51 two-car and 26 three-car units) due to enter service from next year on long-distance services to destinations such as Holyhead, Fishguard and Liverpool.
“It's an exciting milestone to have the first brand new trains built by Transport for Wales off the product line and into testing. The Class 197s will be an important part of the transformation of the Wales and Borders network and we look forward to welcoming passengers o on to the new trains from next year.
“We're delighted with the quality of the trains and product that final assembly has taken place in Newport, supporting highly skilled jobs and bringing further employment to the area.”
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