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New rolling stock spotted testing in Newtown

Exciting changes are coming for the Cambrian line as the new Class 197 trains are set to revolutionize the local transport scene.

2 weeks ago   1 minute read   1,576 views

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Photo: Class 197 arrives at Manchester Piccadilly in February 2024 (Credit: Vanmanyo)

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Exciting changes are coming for the Cambrian line as the new Class 197 trains are set to revolutionize the local transport scene.

Made specially for Transport for Wales, these state-of-the-art trains will eventually replace the current Class 158 rolling stock, marking a significant upgrade for commuters and visitors alike.

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Local photographer Paul Williams from H18-Pdw Photography recently captured a glimpse of the cutting-edge trains being tested on the railway during trials.

The brand-new Class 197s are currently being assembled in Newport, with plans for them to hit the tracks in the near future. In a major milestone, the trains were cleared to run on the Maesteg Line in South Wales in February 2024 and commenced service on the Ebbw Valley Line on 29 April 2024.

The outgoing Class 158 trains, initially constructed between 1989 and 1992, have served passengers for years and are getting pretty old! Following a comprehensive refurbishment between December 2010 and October 2012, the 158 fleet saw extensive interior upgrades, with almost all fittings and fixtures being replaced to provide a modern and comfortable travel experience. The addition of Wi-Fi equipment in 2017 further enhanced the passenger journey.

The introduction of the new Class 197 trains signals a positive step forward in transportation for Newtown, forming part of the delayed plans to bring hourly services to the railway, though it may take some time before we see the Class 197s in our daily journeys.

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