The international rail and infrastructure partnership of Keolis and Amey are set to move ahead in the construction of the South Wales Metro this summer.
As part of a three-quarters-of-a-billion-pound investment in the Metro by Transport for Wales, its Operational Delivery Partner Keolis Amey Wales will be starting essential transformational works on railway lines throughout South Wales, starting on 3 August 2020.
The full transformation project is expected to take three years to deliver, with a fleet of new trains also under construction.
Earlier this year Transport for Wales, an independent public sector arm of the Welsh Government, completed the transfer of rail assets, known locally as the Core Valleys Lines, from Network Rail into its ownership.
This innovative and transformative step undertaken by TfW, brought together train operator and railway asset maintainer, creating a joined-up ‘one team’ approach for the Metro.
The South Wales Metro will see Keolis Amey Wales delivering major infrastructure works including the electrification of over 170 km of track mostly with overhead lines, station and signalling upgrades and the construction of at least five new stations.
Keolis Amey Wales is delighted to be working closely with the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales on the delivery of this pioneering and revolutionary vision.
Kevin Thomas, Chief Executive of Keolis Amey Wales who operate Transport for Wales Rail Services said:
“It is a great credit to everyone involved that even when faced with these challenging times we are able to continue our transformational work on Transport for Wales’ rail network.
“This started with the transfer of the Core Valley Line assets from Network Rail back in March, and is continuing as we progress with complex plans that will deliver the Metro, and all the benefits this will bring to people and local communities.
“KeolisAmey is proud to be working with Transport for Wales to deliver Welsh Government’s vision for rail services and an integrated public transport system.
“Our experience in transformation and creating better solutions for customers comes from all over the world.
“Here in the UK we operate Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which has one of the best performance records in the UK, and the UK’s largest tram network, Greater Manchester’s Metrolink.”
James Price, Transport for Wales’ CEO said:
“Transport for Wales is absolutely committed to delivering the South Wales Metro and we have now moved forward with further transformational works.
“At the start of the year, we opened our Metro Infrastructure Hub at Treforest, as well as starting construction work on our Metro Control Centre at Taff’s Well. We’ve been undertaking surveying and design work across the valley railway lines and are now progressing onto the next phase and transforming the railway lines, starting on 3 August 2020.
“We understand the impact of Covid-19 but will be following all relevant safety advice from Welsh Government as we push forward with our investment programme.”
Explaining the significant development work ahead, James continued:
“This is a once-in-a-generation project and through building the South Wales Metro we hope to help regenerate the economy in Wales especially as we enter the covid19 recovery phase. It is a major, long-term project that won’t happen overnight. We now have significant physical infrastructure work to do to overhaul our rail network which was largely built in the Victorian era, to get it ready for our new faster, greener and more frequent train service.
“We hope that the people of South Wales and our neighbours living near our railway lines will be excited by the opportunities the South Wales Metro will bring. I also want to assure them that whilst we have a lot of work to do, we’ll do all we can to minimise disruption caused by the work we’ll be undertaking and that we’ll regularly update them about the progress we’re making as work continues.”
More affordable turn-up-and-go rail services will be a key part of the South Wales Metro which will be a world-class public transport network that combines rail, bus, cycling and walking.
Customers can expect increased capacity, quicker journeys and better connections between different types of transport. Services will also be greener, more frequent, more accessible, more reliable and quieter for those who live near the railway.