An announcement of extra rolling stock to boost rail services has been welcomed by an Assembly Member. Carl Sargeant, AM for Alyn and Deeside, spoke after Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates announced the addition of five extra four-carriage trains for Wales.
The class 319 flex bi-mode trains have been funded by Welsh Government with £1m of support from Arriva Trains Wales, and will be added to existing rolling stock in 2018.
Their introduction will allow for Persons of Reduced Mobility compliance works to be made to the existing class 150 and 158 stock and will provide options for increasing capacity on busy routes.
The extra trains will also provide opportunities for the new franchisee to deliver improvements early in the new Wales and Borders rail services contract.
Carl Sargeant said:
This is great news for rail passengers in my constituency and throughout Wales.
There have been difficulties in adding good quality rolling stock so I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has stepped in to work with Arriva Trains Wales and others to secure the extra trains.
From this year the Welsh Government will have the power to specify the terms and conditions of the Welsh rail franchise and be responsible for procuring the next operator for the franchise when the current franchise expires in 2018.
This will be a valuable opportunity for the Welsh Government to make the changes that passengers want and get the services they need.
Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates said:
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 1 January 2020. The extra trains will be available for
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. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure these trains and hope to see them play a part in boosting Wales’ rail service for years to come.
The trains are being leased following an initial £1.9 million investment by Welsh Government and £1 million from Arriva Trains Wales.