Legal & General has provided, on behalf of its clients including Legal & General Retirement Institutional (LGRI), £ 200 million (EUR 228.3 million) in long-term debt financing to support the purchase of new rolling stock for the Wales & Borders franchise by Equitix and SMBC.
“We are pleased to be financing the purchase of new rolling stock for the Wales & Borders franchise, helping to provide cutting edge transport with lower carbon emissions in Wales and to be a part of growing transport links between England and Wales,” Tom Sumpster, Head of Infrastructure at LGIM Real Assets said.
The new Wales & Borders rolling stock fleet will be a critical part of delivering increased capacity for a rail service in and around Cardiff, particularly the CVL Metro route which sees utilisation higher than the UK average. The new metro fleet will replace an ageing diesel fleet, resulting in lower emissions on these lines. Similarly, the tri-mode trains will replace existing old diesel rolling stock and will have the capability of being powered by electric overhead lines, battery or diesel engine, supporting a shift away from all-diesel powered operations.
In August 2018, Stadler was selected to supply Wales & Borders 71 trains, of which 36 three-car Citylink tram-trains and 35 Flirt trains.
Starting 2022, the 35 tram-trains will operate from Cardiff to Treherbert, Aberdare and Merthyr Tydfil.
The remaining 35 units will be of the Flirt type, 11 of which will be diesel-operated and used on South Wales Metro services to Maesteg, Ebbw Vale and Cheltenham. The other 24 units will be tri-mode, capable of running on diesel, overhead electric wires and battery power. The tri-mode fleet consists of seven three-car and 17 four-car trains.
In 2023, the 24 tri-mode trains will be used on routes linking the Vale of Glamorgan and destinations north of Cardiff. They will be powered by electricity to the north of Cardiff, and diesel to the south, providing a cross-city connection.