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Wales and Borders franchise to revamp 247 stations

Cardiff Central station September2015

A £194M fund will be used to modernise all 247 train stations in Wales, it was revealed today, as the Welsh Government announced more detailed plans for its 15-year £5bn Wales and Borders franchise.

Cardiff is set to get four new stations - at Loudoun Square, Crwys Road, the Flourish and Gabalfa - as part of the South Wales Metro under proposals laid out today by KeolisAmey.

An additional £738m will be invested to transform the Core Valley Lines to Treherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhymney and Coryton, which will involve electrifying 172km of track and upgrading infrastructure, in order to run metro services.  

Stations and overhead wires will be powered by 100% renewable energy, with at least 50% sourced from Wales.

Transport for Wales also revealed it would invest in Shotton Station and Wrexham General from 2024 in order to allow capability for a North Wales Metro in future. Trefforest Estate Station, near Cardiff, will be moved by December 2025. 

The announcement comes as rail powers are devolved to the Welsh Government following discussions with the Department for Transport. 

Speaking at the launch event in Cardiff today Welsh transport and environment secretary Ken Skates praised the procurement process and said: “There have been critics of what we have been trying to achieve and at times those critics have been vociferous.

“We’ve chosen to focus on outcomes and on achieving value for money rather than reward bidders who put forward unsustainable financial offers.

“We chose to facilitate maximum commercial and technical creativity by deliberately not playing out every nuance and detail of the process in the public gaze and I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve ended up with.”

KeolisAmey, which currently runs London’s Docklands Light Railway and the Manchester Metrolink, was up against Hong Kong metro operator MTR which had BAM Nuttall as its infrastructure partner.

Dutch firm Abellio pulled out of the running in March after Carillion collapsed. Carillion was lined up to be Abellio’s infrastructure management partner for the construction of the South Wales Metro, with Aecom as the design partner on the Abelioe Rail Cymru (ARC) consortium.

The consortium was forced to withdraw its bid after Amey – part of the rival KeolisAmey bidding team - took over most of Carillion’s rail business. Aecom had also bid for the Carillion rail work. 

Current franchise holder Arriva, which had partnered with Costain, pulled out of the running last year.

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