A SET of five brand new trains will be on the rails in Wales next year thanks to a £2.9 million investment by the Welsh Government and a rail firm.

The new 319 flex bi-mode trains, which will have four carriages each, are to be introduced following a £1.9 million investment by the Welsh Government and £1 million from Arriva Trains Wales.

The new trains will be introduced next year and will allow for work to be made to existing vehicles to make them compliant with disability legislation.

The Welsh Government is currently in the process of determining which firm will be awarded the contract to run the Wales and Borders franchise from October 2018, when the current contract expires.

Wales’ economy and infrastructure secretary Ken Skates said: “I’ve made no secret of the difficulty in adding good quality rolling stock in Wales and am delighted that, by working with Arriva Trains Wales and others, we’ve been able to secure these extra trains.

“The agreement to secure these trains is one part of a number of agreements with rail industry bodies that ensure that the majority of the current Wales and Borders fleet will comply with Persons of Restricted Mobility regulations by January 1, 2020.

“The extra trains will be available for the new franchisee to use until at least 2021.

“I’ve been absolutely clear that the next franchise, the Welsh Government’s first, must have the passenger at its heart.”

Fleet director for Arriva Trains Wales Simon Hughes said: “These additional trains will be a massive boost for our customers who have been calling for extra capacity for a long time.

“We are delighted to be investing alongside the Welsh Government to secure this additional rolling stock within our current franchise period.”

The news comes just days after Spanish firm Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles announced it would invest £30 million into creating a new train factory in Newport, creating 300 new jobs.