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New trains appear to have less space on them

Created on 09/08/2020 @ 08:06
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New trains due to serve Newtown and the Cambrian Railway appear to have less capacity on them.

MyNewtown and sister site MyWelshpool have seen diagrams of the new trains, due to come into service in 2022.

The drawings (pictured) appear to show less capacity and only one toilet in each two-car Class 197 train which will be put to work by 2022 when the hourly service is expected to operate between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury.

Transport for Wales (TfW) have heralded the £800 million investment as “new faster, greener trains”, but one member of the Welshpool Rail Users Facebook group said: “I seem to recall we were promised ‘World Class’ and this is what we get, with all the ambience of a cheap hamburger joint!”

We put the concerns to TfW who gave us the following response:

“We're investing £800 million in new faster, greener trains as part of our transformation of the Wales and Borders rail service. This includes 51 two-car and 26 three-car Class 197 diesel trains for long-distance services. 21 of the two-car trains will be fitted with equipment for use on the Cambrian Line.

“In designing our new trains, we have worked hard to find the best possible balance between seating capacity and the number of Universal Access Toilets on each train, in order to make them as accessible as possible. There will be one toilet in each two-car Class 197 train, which is in line with the level of toilet provision on new train fleets being delivered to other UK operators.

“When they enter service, these will often run with a second two-car train on long-distance services to provide four carriages, including services via Welshpool.

“Other improvements that the new trains will provide include reduced journey times, easier access between the train and the platform, and the introduction of multi-use areas to accommodate more bicycles, prams and pushchairs.

“The introduction of the new fleet will also allow us to introduce an hourly service between Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury from December 2022, with all services calling at Welshpool.

“We welcome feedback from our customers and stakeholders. We’re constantly reviewing our plans for new trains and services, in order to ensure we deliver the best possible service for all our customers throughout the Wales and Borders network.”
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