FLIRT tri-mode for Transport for Wales to be displayed at InnoTrans

Strong environmental credentials and the use of battery power characterise the FLIRT tri-mode, one of three vehicles destined for the UK market to be officially unveiled at InnoTrans 2022. Representing an innovative and cost-effective way of providing a fully electric, environmentally-friendly service north of Cardiff on the Valley lines, these state-of-the-art demonstrate Stadler’s leading role in the introduction of alternative drive technologies in public transport.

This year at InnoTrans, Stadler will reveal the FLIRT tri-mode for Transport for Wales. Sustainable, reliable, comfortable and stylish, this product is one of seven to go on display at InnoTrans. Two of the other vehicles will also be for the UK: the CITYLINK, also ordered by Transport for Wales, and the METRO IPEMU for the Liverpool City Region.

The FLIRT tri-modes are part of the contract signed by Stadler and Transport for Wales in January 2019, comprising 35 FLIRT vehicles in total and 36 CITYLINK tram-trains. Twenty-four of the FLIRTs will be tri-modes, capable of running on lines with overhead electric wires as well as with battery power and diesel. The use of batteries on the tri-modes will enable a fully electric service north of Cardiff, known as “smart electrification”, to prevent costly infrastructure upgrades for the client. Seven three-car and 17 four-car trains will make up the tri-mode fleet, and the remaining 11 FLIRTs will be diesel-operated.

Seats have been ergonomically designed to maximise passenger comfort and each one will be fitted with power sockets. All trains feature air-conditioning, areas for wheelchairs, pushchairs and bicycles, and wide passenger information screens, displaying up-to-the-minute travel information. Noise and vibrations will be kept to a minimum, with the new trains quieter than the current ones. Low flooring at every door will reduce dwell time and make it easier for passengers to get on and off. There will be space for up to six bikes on each train.

The first FLIRT trains arrived in Cardiff in November 2021 for testing on the local network. Transport for Wales intends to introduce trains into passenger service later this year.

Ralf Warwel, sales director for the UK and Ireland at Stadler, says: “This train boasts compelling environmental credentials and will bring about a step-change in passenger travel. It illustrates Stadler’s pledge to provide ever greener solutions, supporting the decarbonisation of the railway, both in Wales and beyond.”

Alexia Course, Transport for Wales chief commercial officer says: “We’re extremely proud to have our new Stadler trains on show at InnoTrans this year and we’re excited to start introducing them to our Wales and Borders network over the coming months and years.  We’re on a transformational journey at Transport for Wales and these new trains are a key part of improving the customer experience, so that we can encourage more people to travel sustainably on public transport. These are modern trains, with high quality features that will offer our customers more accessible, reliable and greener transport.”