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Smart infrastructure to enable South Wales Metro electric service

South Wales Metro

Swiss firm Stadler is to provide rolling stock for the South Wales Metro, which will see the development of smart infrastructure for a fully electric service in some areas.

The service north of Cardiff will see smart electrification of the infrastructure, which aims to cut out the need for modifications to 55 bridges along the route.

Stadler is preferred bidder for the deal with KeolisAmey, as part of the £5bn Wales and Borders franchise, which will service the planned metro-style service on valley lines around Cardiff.

Keolis Amey Wales Cymru mobilisation director Colin Lea said: “This will transform the passenger experience and enable 100 per cent electric running on the valley lines north of Cardiff. This power will be sourced from renewable energy and 50 per cent of that from within Wales. These superb trains will help us cut journey times, provide far more capacity and will put Wales at the forefront of ‘smart electrification’ technologies.”

Stadler will supply 36 three-car Citylink tram-trains, as well as 35 Flirt (Fast Light Intercity and Regional Train) trains. The trains will go into operation from 2022/3.

The tram-trains, running on 25 kV as well as battery power, will operate from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil. The trains will see on-street running to Cardiff for the first time in 70 years.

The 35 Flirt trains will include 11 which are diesel-operated and will be used on South Wales Metro services to Maesteg, Ebbw Vale and Cheltenham. The remaining 24 will be tri-mode, capable of runningon diesel, overhead electric wires and battery power. These will operate on routes linking the Vale of Glamorgan and destinations north of Cardiff from 2023.

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