Refurbished trains with more seats are being introduced on the Rhymney line.
The first of the Class 769 trains started operating on the Rhymney line on Tuesday (December 15).
In total, nine of these new trains will be brought into use by early next year.
The Class 769 train, which will always be made up of four carriages, will have a capacity of 558 seats.
In comparison, the two-carriage Class 142 and Class 143 pacer trains, which are being phased out by Transport for Wales (TfW), have a capacity of 215 and 216 respectively.
The trains will operate twice a day to start with, due to social distancing restrictions impacting on driver training.
James Price, CEO of TfW, said he is “confident our customers will be pleased with the improved service”.
He said: “This is another important step in our modernisation of the railway, following the introduction of Class 170 trains last year.
“TfW is the first rail operator to introduce the Class 769s into service in the UK, as we work hard to deliver a transport network Wales is proud of.”
Caerphilly’s Senedd Member, Hefin David, welcomed the news.
Dr David said: “I’ve been working closely with TfW on this project since I was first elected as Senedd Member for Caerphilly in 2016.
“To see the introduction of the new 769’s is an exciting occasion, which will immediately benefit people within my constituency.
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“The new trains will bring a much-needed uplift in capacity for Caerphilly residents and hopefully ease some of the chaos we see at peak times travelling to and from Cardiff.”
The Class 769 trains will be in service until 2023, when the new Class 756 tri-mode trains are expected to come to the Rhymney line.
The Class 756 trains will be introduced as part of the South Wales Metro project, which has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government.
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