THE first of 36 class 398 tram-trains that Stadler is supplying to Transport for Wales (TfW) arrived by road at the new depot in Taff’s Well on March 21.

The class 398 fleet is due to begin operating South Wales Metro (SWM) services in 2024 from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney, Coryton and Cardiff Bay following electrification at 25kV ac of these lines, which total 170 track-km.

The upgrade of these Core Valley Lines (CVL) to form the SWM network also includes track doubling, installing new passing loops, upgrading all 52 stations on the network and the construction of two new stations.

Built by Stadler at its Albuixech plant near Valencia in Spain, the class 398 has been undergoing extensive testing in Britain at the Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIID) near Melton Mowbray that is owned by infrastructure manager Network Rail (NR).

In September last year, a South Wales Metro class 398 tram-train was exhibited at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.

“The delivery of the first tram-train to our new Taff’s Well depot is a major milestone in the development of the South Wales Metro and the culmination of a significant effort from TfW colleagues and our industry partners over the last few months,” says TfW chief infrastructure officer, Mr Dan Tipper.

“These new trains are a key part of improving the customer experience, so that we can encourage more people to travel sustainably on public transport.”

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