Today Stadler Rail officially announced it is the preferred bidder for 71 trains for the Wales & Borders franchise in the UK. KeolisAmey is the new operator. Next to Stadler Rail, also CAF and Vivarail will provide new rolling stock.
Remarkable is the mix of different modes across the Stadler Rail fleet, resulting in the following mix of vehicles:
- 36x Citylink 3-car tram-trains > 25kV AC overhead electric + battery
The vehicles will be used in Cardiff and to Treherbert, Aberdare und Merthyr Tydi. It means street cars will return to the streets of Cardiff after 70 years of absence.
- 11x FLIRT > diesel-operated
These DMUs will be used on South-Wales-Metro lines connecting Maesteg, Ebbw Vale and Cheltenham.
- 7x FLIRT 3-car tri-mode > diesel + 25kV AC overhead electric + battery
- 17x FLIRT 4-car tri-mode > diesel + overhead electric + battery
With these 24 trains it will be possible to introduce direct services between Cardiff, capital of Wales, and its adjacent regions up north and to the south. To Vale of Glamorgan (south) the FLIRTs will run in diesel mode, northbound the trains will be electric. The batteries will be needed in the north so the lines do not have to be fully electrified, which would require modifications to 55 bridges.
Stadler has also published an animation showcasing the FLIRT in Metro design: