INNOTRANS: One of the Citylink Class 398 electric-battery tram-trains which Stadler is building for South Wales Metro services on the branch lines around Cardiff has been unveiled at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin.
Stadler’s Citylink is a family of modular light rail vehicles designed to connect city centres with outlying areas, running on railways or tram lines.
Transport for Wales has ordered 36 high-floor tram-trains, as part of a contract for Stadler to supply a total of 71 trainsets for Wales & Borders services.
The TfW sets are to be used on services from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil.
They will have a maximum speed of 100 km/h and will be able to operate under future 25 kV 50 Hz electrification or, in a new development for the Citylink family, using power from lithium-ion batteries on non-electrified sections of line.
ABB has supplied the customised electrical equipment, and Technotrans the cooling systems for the batteries.
Battery power will enable the use of discontinuous electrification, avoiding the complexity, disruption and expense of installing overhead equipment in challenging locations such as tunnels and bridges with restricted clearances.
Stadler told Rail Business UK the battery offers a range of about 10 km, but the intention is that it would be used for shorter distances of around 2 km between sections of overhead.
Battery power could also be used on street-running extensions of the network which have been proposed for the Cardiff area.
The three-car units are 40 m long and 2 650 mm wide with a 915 mm entrance height.
They have 126 seats and a capacity of 252 passengers at 4/m2.
Stadler said the interior is designed to be spacious and bright. There are multifunctional areas for bicycles and seats for people with reduced mobility.
The secondary air suspension adjusts to the passenger loading to ensure level access. The two wheelchair spaces have tables, with Stadler telling Rail Business UK that all passengers need access to the same level of comfort.
The air-conditioning design is being used on a tram train for the first time, and aims to offer better air circulation and lower energy use than previous arrangements.
Unlike the DMUs they will replace, the metro-style tram-trains do not have toilets.
Dynamic testing is currently taking place at Network Rail’s Rail Innovation & Development Centre in Melton Mowbray, ahead of the introduction into passenger service next year.
TfW’s Chief Commercial Officer Alexia Course said ’we’re extremely proud to have our new trains on show at InnoTrans and we’re excited to start introducing them to our Wales & 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.’