New trains are set to be on the Rhymney line by May, according to the Welsh Government’s Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates AM.
Answering a question posed to him in the Senedd by Caerphilly AM Hefin David, Mr Skates said: “Transport for Wales anticipates new rolling stock to be provided by May 2019, if not earlier.”
Transport for Wales (TfL) took over the running of Wales’ railways from Arriva in October last year.
The company is hoping to have five refurbished Class 769 trains delivered in March, with the hope they will be operating on the Rhymney line by May.
Dr David said: “Coming home at peak time on the Cardiff to Rhymney line is terrible. Seating is very hard to come by. This improvement in March/May would be very welcome.
Mr Skates replied: “I think it’s important to reflect on the fact that capacity on the network at the moment is severely stretched, and so I’m pleased to say that capacity will be increased from 212 to 292 seats on those trains that are going to be brought into use.”
From 2023, 95% of journeys will be made on new trains, half of which will be assembled in Wales. Around 600 new jobs will be created with 30 new apprenticeships annually.