We don’t mention it that much but in the next few years South Wales will be home to another Metro style service – the first in Wales – with the upgrading of the South Wales Metro service. In order to operate this service – which will built on conventional railway lines to start with but with the option in the future of some street running into Cardiff – a number of new vehicles are currently being built, including some Stadler tram-train vehicles.
To be classified as class 398 these vehicles are being built by Stadler in Poland and Switzerland before they are transferred to a new depot (currently being built at Taff’s Well) in Wales. They are similar to the Citylink tram-trains already in service on the Stagecoach Supertram system and will be three cars, and controversially to some will not contain any on board toilets.
A total of 36 of these class 398’s will be built for the South Wales Metro with good progress now being made on their construction. It is planned the first of them will enter service in 2022 but with the recent history of the introduction of new trains to the UK rail network this timeline could yet slip.