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First South Wales Metro tram-train arrives in depot

The first South Wales Stadler Tram-trainTramlink is delivered. (TfW

The first South Wales Stadler Tramlink Tram-train is delivered. (TfW

The first of 36 Stadler-built class 398 bi-mode tram-trains were delivered to Transport for Wales’ Taff’s Well depot during the night of 21-22 March. These Spanish-built cars are destined for South Wales Metro and their use will significantly increase capacity and transform the travelling experience of its customers.

The tram-trains had previously been undergoing extensive testing  at the Network Rail Innovation and Development Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and form part of the Transport for Wales £800 million investment project into providing better trains and services for the Wales and Borders network. These high-floor, three section eight axle-axle Stadler Citylink trains are 40m long, 2.65m wide and have a passenger capacity of 252 passengers (126 seated). They are equipped to operate on 25kV overhead electrification or under battery power. The fleet is expected to enter service in 2024 on existing lines linking Cardiff with Reherbert, Aberdare, Merthyr Tidfyl and the Bay.

Transport for Wales has started consultation on better penetration of the Docklands regeneration area by running beyond the current terminus of the Cardiff Bay City line with four options. This would allow the tram-trains to take advantage of their battery-power street- running capability as well as making use of former freight lines.

Want to know more about tram-trains and their applications across the world? Why not download a copy of our tram-train special feature, Written by Günter Koch, Head of Metro and Tram Design at DB Engineering & Consulting in Karlsruhe, he explores the way forward for systems that combine rail and tramways. Access our ultimate guide to the tram-train here.