Posted: Thu 16th Sep 2021

Introduction of new Class 230 trains on Wrexham to Bidston line delayed until next year

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Sep 16th, 2021

The introduction of new trains on the Wrexham to Bidston line has been delayed until next year

The Class 230 D-Trains – which use the bogies and aluminium body shells of withdrawn London Underground trains – were intially expected to be operational by mid-2019 but the programme has been hit by significant delays.

Transport for Wales (TfW) has said the introduction of the new Class 230 trains is now planned for the line in 2022 although no firm date has been set.

The new diesel/ battery hybrid trains have been seen regularly running on the line for over a year on test and driver training runs.

In July one of the new Class 230 trains suffered a small fire while on a training run near Wrexham Central station, it was extinguished and no one was hurt.

TfW has also said the planned introduction of a two trains per hour service between Wrexham and Bidston in December has been pushed back to May 2022.

The Welsh Government-owned train operator said the delays are because staff training has been impacted by the Covid pandemic.

In a statement, TfW said it has been working closely with Network Rail to “deliver the necessary infrastructure improvements and enhancements to the Wrexham to Bidston line, to enable the delivery of two trains per hour along this route.”

“Whilst the infrastructure work is taking place, TfW are also working hard to ensure all train drivers and conductors are fully trained on the Class 230s trains to be used on the route.”

“Due to delays caused by COVID-19 to staff training, the date for delivery of two trains per hour has been moved from December 2021 to May 2022 at the latest.”

“This means from December, customers will see a mixture of trains being used on the Wrexham to Bidston line for the current timetable.”

“TfW Class 230s are planned for the line in 2022, allowing the route to be serviced by the upgraded trains.”

Lee Robinson, Development Director for Mid, North and Rural Wales said: “The last 17 months has been extremely challenging, not only in navigating our way through a global pandemic but also continuing to work towards our vision for a more integrated transport network across North Wales and the English borders.”

“I’m looking forward to welcoming the new rolling stock to the Wrexham to Bidston line and improving how we work with our communities to ensure we’re listening to what the people of North Wales and the borderlands need, whilst also delivering on our commitments.”

Work to install an additional 11 meters of platform at Wrexham Central station in preparation for the new fleet of trains begins on 16 September and follows improvement to platform 1 at nearby Wrexham General station which is due to finish on 12 September.

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