A story which has gone under the radar slightly was part of the announcement of the new rail franchise for Wales – a tram-train service including on street running and four new stops. Very little detail has actually been released on the plans except that it is likely to start operating in 2023 and 36 new Stadler Citylink vehicles will be ordered to help to run the service.
The announcement of major investment in Welsh rail services being operated under the Transport for Wales brand (everything has to be Transport for somewhere nowadays it would seem!) contained a lot of outline detail, the majority of which don’t fall under the remit of this website but suffice to say does include a lot of new trains and an improved service on many lines. The new franchise will be operated by KeolisAmey – who of course have a lot of experience with running light rail in this country in both Manchester and on the DLR – who have committed to these major improvements.
As for the Cardiff Metro service this is due to start running in full in 2023 with new stations opening at Loudon Square and The Flourish in Cardiff Bay. There will be on street running – but no route details seem to have been mentioned – and the new stations/stops will be high floor (a la Manchester) so that more investment than necessary isn’t needed on the existing railway line. Two further stations will be built at Gabalfa and Crwys Road but it isn’t clear if these will open in 2023 or will have to wait a bit longer.
36 Stadler Citylink Tram-Trains are being ordered (presumably not just for this service). These will be similar to those being used for the pilot Tram-Train service in Sheffield but will be high floor varieties.