The upheaval of Wales’ railways is an exciting time for many industries, from those producing elastomeric bearings for bridges to the railway workers themselves, as new services and trains promise to transform the ailing system.
Last week, it was announced that KeolisAmey, a joint venture between French and Spanish transport giants, would take over the contract for the next 15 years from Arriva, and they have promised to make the systems unrecognisable in time to come, after years of underinvestment in rail infrastructure in this area.
By the end of 2023, KeolisAmey has promised that there will be an additional 285 weekday services, smart ticketing will be implemented, and a complete fleet of new trains, boosting capacity by 65 per cent, according to Wales Online.
Alistair Gordon, chief executive of Keolis UK said that the contract signals a new period of further economic growth for the region: “This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales and its communities. As well as creating new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities, we will be focused on upgrading the existing infrastructure and introducing new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience.”
These new trains, according to Wales Online, will be repurposed from former London Underground trains, which will be gutted and completely re-designed. The new look for the ex-District Line trains have been revealed by Vivarail, which has been awarded this part of the contract.
They will feature USB ports, Wifi, space for bikes and storage, air conditioning and a new seating layout. These new trains may be in operation from as early as next summer.