Investment of £5bn signals ‘new chapter’ for Welsh railways

7 Jun 18

The Welsh government is pledging to open “a new chapter for rail services” with a £5bn investment in the network.

The funding aims to improve the frequency and quality of Wales and Borders services and establish a South Wales Metro, and will create 600 jobs, new trains and stations.

First minister Carwyn Jones said: “This is an important moment for transport in Wales and begins a new chapter for rail services in this country.

“This is a chance not simply to build a modern, forward-looking transport system, but to use it as an important tool to shape the life of the nation around us.

“People said they wanted affordable fares and newer, cleaner trains and we have worked hard to ensure this is reflected in what we are launching.

“This is a landmark moment in the future development of Wales.“

The Welsh Government has contracted transport operator Keolis and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey to work alongside Transport for Wales to boost overall service capacity by 65%.

Key aspects of the contract, which will run until 2033, include:

  • 600 more staff to be recruited, and 30 apprenticeships annually;
  • £1.9bn to be spent on improving passenger experience;
  • all trains to be replaced by new ones by 2023;
  • £194m to go towards modernising all stations and building four new ones;
  • stations will be powered 100% by renewable energy;
  • 285 more services to run each weekday by 2023.

The UK rail minister Jo Johnson hailed the investment as “historic”, saying: “We have worked closely with the Welsh government to secure the best deal and the new franchise will bring extra services and record investment.

“We are also investing £125m to establish a new metro service connecting towns and villages across Wales.”

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