Commuters and travellers in Newport and the surrounding South Wales area can soon travel in style, with plans afoot to roll out brand new trains on the network.

Today, Transport for Wales (TfW) have unveiled the first two new trains as part of a £800 million investment in new stock for the Wales and borders network, which includes Newport and Gwent.

The new trains have arrived in Wales from Switzerland, and will remain at the TfW depot in Canton, Cardiff until they are rolled out onto the network next year.

All told, 35 Class 231 FLIRT trains will be introduced over the next 24 months, as part of plans to increase capacity and frequency of trains in Wales.

What’s more, the new units are said to be better for the environment.

In addition, they are expected to have on board air conditioning, and improved power socket capacity and bike storage, along with on board digital display screens.

The new trains will also form a key part of the South Wales Metro project – a three quarters of a billion pound scheme which will radically transform transport options in the region.

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What has been said about the new trains?

Lee Waters, deputy minister for climate change said: “The new vehicles are a transformational improvement on the trains that they will be replacing across South Wales offering greater capacity, more frequent services with improved facilities encouraging people to leave their cars behind and move onto a more sustainable form of transport."

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “The arrival of these brand-new trains is another major milestone for TfW and signifies another step forward on our transformational programme to deliver a transport network that the people of Wales can be proud of. 

“We’re investing £800 million into new trains that will provide more capacity on our network, they will have more and improved seating, provide air conditioning, power sockets and passenger information screens with up-to-the- minute travel information. 

“The customer is at the heart of our planning at TfW and these trains will have more space for bikes, people with limited mobility and pushchairs.

“People will now start to see some of our new trains being tested on our network and we’re looking forward to seeing the first new units enter service for customers next year.”

South Wales Argus: The first two units have arrived in Wales (Credit: Transport for Wales)The first two units have arrived in Wales (Credit: Transport for Wales)

Sandro Muster, project manager for Stadler, said: “The arrival of the first unit in Cardiff is a momentous occasion for everyone involved in the project. Not only Stadler, but our client, Transport for Wales, and above all, the people who will soon be travelling on them. Passengers will notice a massive difference in the ride quality, the comfort and the attention to detail.

“We will now embark on an extensive programme of testing to ensure that they are ready for commercial service. Every aspect of the train, from their on-board features to energy consumption trials, noise levels and signalling, will be scrutinised rigorously.”