Unit 170207 pulled into the Canton depot on Sunday 1 September. The three-car train has 186 seats and will shortly be joined by a further seven three car-units and four two-car units that each provide seating for 110 passengers.
Driver training is scheduled to begin on 16 September with the units expected in to service on the Cheltenham to Maesteg line in December 2019. Subject to route clearance, Transport for Wales are also exploring future options to run the trains on the Ebbw Vale line and Heart of Wales.
Speaking about the arrival of the new fleet, Rolling Stock Director Sara Holland said that the delivery of the first Class 170 is an important milestone for Transport for Wales: “The Class 170s provide a more modern and reliable service with air conditioning and power sockets. These are comfortable trains that will significantly improve capacity and provide a high standard of on-board customer experience.”
“With the support of our industry partners, our fleet colleagues are working incredibly hard to introduce new rolling stock, refurbish existing trains and carry out much needed modification works. This is an £800 million programme that will transform the experience for our customers and colleagues alike; the average age of the fleet will drop from 25 years to seven years by 2024 and 95% of journeys will be made on a new fleet of 148 trains by 2023.”
James Price, Transport for Wales CEO added: “It’s great that the first class 170 train has arrived at our depot in Canton. Our staff have been working hard in preparation for the Autumn period and in the very near future, this additional rolling stock will provide more capacity for our customers and help create more resilience throughout our network. The Class 170s will all be fitted with power sockets and air conditioning.
“Our focus as always been on improving the customer experience and this is another example on how we are delivering on this.”