Listen to this article:
As excitement builds ahead of the Metro launch in 2023, shadow secretary of state for Wales, Jo Stevens, visited the transformative South Wales Metro project.
The South Wales Metro is a significant investment in the region’s transport network, transforming the way people in the area travel and increasing local rail capacity. A crucial aspect of the upgrade is the electrification of 170km of track, which will allow the new fleet of trains to run more reliably and more sustainably.
- South Wales Metro: Piling and foundation works start in readiness for installation of overhead line equipment
- Another step forward for South Wales Metro
- South Wales Metro work set to continue in Merthyr Tydfil
Jo Stevens was given a demonstration of the new Class 231 train simulator by Transport for Wales, which will serve passengers from 2023, as well as viewing the Metro Depot at Taff’s Well station and the upcoming control centre. Jo also met with the suppliers involved in the project’s construction, which includes Amey Infrastructure Wales.
The visit was part of RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme, which matches politicians to rail sites relevant to their brief or in their constituency and gives them a hands-on experience of what goes on in the sector day-to-day.
RIA has long campaigned for a programme of electrification around the UK, and has welcomed Transport for Wales’ progress electrifying the Core Valley Lines.
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “It is great to see progress on an important project that will benefit passengers and businesses across South Wales and the wider economy. Electrifying the Core Valley Lines will also help Wales reach its decarbonisation targets, providing more capacity on one of the cleanest modes of transport.
“Clearly there is still a lot of work to do to reach net zero, and rail can play a major role in this. RIA and our members will continue to support the Welsh Government in its climate ambitions, ensuring its investment in the railway network will boost jobs and the local economy in the months and years ahead.
“We greatly welcome the support from Jo Stevens MP for the railway industry and the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme. We would also like to thank Transport for Wales and Amey for hosting the visit.”
Karl Gilmore, Transport for Wales’ Rail Infrastructure Director, said: “The South Wales Metro will not only transform the way people travel around South Wales, but the billion-pound investment programme is providing valuable opportunities for local people and Welsh companies in our supply chain.
“We’re grateful for Jo Stevens MP visiting us today to see the progress we’re making with our industry partners to develop the Metro, as we work towards delivering faster, more frequent and greener services for our customers. Thank you to the Railway Industry Association and our partners in the Craidd Alliance, the first rail alliance in the world to achieve certification to ISO44001 collaboration standard, for their continuing support.”
Jo Stevens MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, said: “It was exciting to hear from Transport for Wales and their key partners on the excellent progress being made on the South Wales Metro project and the electrification of the Core Valleys Lines.
“The Metro project is a massive step forward for public transport in South Wales. It means better, faster and more frequent trains – building a reliable and green public transport system fit for a 21st Century Capital City.”
“Thank you to the Railway Industry Association for running the visit and Transport for Wales for hosting me. I’m looking forward to seeing the project continue to develop over the coming months and years.”
Paul Chesman, Siemens Mobility’s Project Director for Wales and West, said: “I was pleased to share our involvement in this transformational project with Jo Stevens MP, demonstrating that
Siemens Mobility has invested in the technology, people, skills and supply chain in the UK, to help deliver re-signalling of the Core Valley Lines.
Simon Rhoden, Infrastructure Services Director for Amey, said: “It was a delight to welcome Jo Stevens MP and Rail Industry Association to the South Wales Metro with Transport for Wales. It’s a privilege for myself and the team to demonstrate the developments being made to electrify the Core Valley Lines improving accessibility, increasing train frequency, providing shorter journey times and achieving decarbonisation goals.
“The improved journey times and doubling of train frequency is enabled by our UK-manufactured signalling technology, with our train control and traffic management technology making passenger journeys smooth. This will all help transform the everyday journeys of passengers across South Wales and make sustainable rail travel a reliable choice to make, helping to decarbonise. I look forward to the future success of the programme.”