The planned transformation of rail services in Wales will bring a substantial jobs boost to Newport.
First Minister Carwyn Jones announced this week that the Welsh Government had contracted KeolisAmey to operate and develop the Wales and Borders rail service and South Wales Metro, working in partnership with Transport for Wales.
And KeolisAmey has selected Spanish company CAF as preferred bidder to supply its new rolling stock in the form of 51 two-car and 26 three-car Civity DMUs for use on regional routes from 2022.
These are to be assembled at the factory which CAF is to open at the Celtic Business Park in Newport later this year.
CAF is investing £30 million and creating 300 jobs at its Newport factory.
The 15-year contract will run until 2033, with KeolisAmey taking over the Wales and Borders rail service from Arriva Trains Wales in October.
A joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis with infrastructure asset management specialist Amey, KeolisAmey will work in partnership with Transport for Wales, running all services under the Transport for Wales brand.
Transport for Wales is the not-for-profit company driving forward the Welsh Government’s vision of a high-quality, safe, integrated, affordable and accessible transport network in Wales.
Mr Jones said:
“This is an important moment for transport in Wales and begins a new chapter for rail services in this country.
“The way we shaped this procurement was different. We put passengers’ priorities at the centre of our thinking and threw out a challenge to all of the bidders to address the concerns they had about seat capacity, journey times and service frequency. People said they wanted affordable fares and newer, cleaner trains.”
Also included in the new Wales and Borders rail contract is a commitment to reopening the Ebbw Vale to Newport line.