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Press Release

Transformative South Wales Metro showcased for Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens

20 June 2022

  • Jo Stevens MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, is shown the work behind the scenes to build the South Wales Metro scheme
  • Project will transform travel in South Wales and involves electrifying the Core Valleys Lines, a positive step towards decarbonising rail in Wales 
  • Visit was part of the Railway Industry Association’s Rail Fellowship Programme, which provides politicians with a hands-on experience in the sector
  • The Railway Industry Association has been campaigning for the Government to speed up UK electrification, to create jobs and achieve the country’s decarbonisation goals.
On Friday 17 June, the Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Jo Stevens visited the transformative South Wales Metro project, as excitement builds ahead of the Metro launch in 2023. 

The South Wales Metro is a significant investment in the region’s transport network, transforming the way people in the area travel and increasing local rail capacity. A crucial aspect of the upgrade is the electrification of 170km of track, which will allow the new fleet of trains to run more reliably and more sustainably.  

Jo Stevens was given a demonstration of the new Class 231 train simulator by Transport for Wales, which will serve passengers from 2023, as well as viewing the Metro Depot at Taff’s Well station and the upcoming control centre. Jo also met with the suppliers involved in the project’s construction, which includes Amey Infrastructure Wales.

The visit was part of RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme, which matches politicians to rail sites relevant to their brief or in their constituency and gives them a hands-on experience of what goes on in the sector day-to-day. 

RIA has long campaigned for a programme of electrification around the UK, and has welcomed Transport for Wales’ progress electrifying the Core Valley Lines. 
Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) Darren Caplan, said: “It is great to see progress on an important project that will benefit passengers and businesses across South Wales and the wider economy. Electrifying the Core Valley Lines will also help Wales reach its decarbonisation targets, providing more capacity on one of the cleanest modes of transport. 
“Clearly there is still a lot of work to do to reach net zero, and rail can play a major role in this. RIA and our members will continue to support the Welsh Government in its climate ambitions, ensuring its investment in the railway network will boost jobs and the local economy in the months and years ahead.

“We greatly welcome the support from Jo Stevens MP for the railway industry and the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme. We would also like to thank Transport for Wales and Amey for hosting the visit.”

Shadow Wales Secretary Jo Stevens MP, commented: “It was exciting to hear from Transport for Wales and their key partners on the excellent progress being made on the South Wales Metro project and the electrification of the Core Valleys Lines. 

“The Metro project is a massive step forward for public transport in South Wales. It means better, faster and more frequent trains – building a reliable and green public transport system fit for a 21st Century Capital City.

“Thank you to the Railway Industry Association for running the visit and Transport for Wales for hosting me. I’m looking forward to seeing the project continue to develop over the coming months and years.”
Simon Rhoden, Infrastructure Services Director for Amey, added: “It was a delight to welcome Jo Stevens MP and Rail Industry Association to the South Wales Metro with Transport for Wales. It’s a privilege for myself and the team to demonstrate the developments being made to electrify the Core Valley Lines improving accessibility, increasing train frequency, providing shorter journey times and achieving decarbonisation goals.”
Karl Gilmore, Transport for Wales’ Rail Infrastructure Director, said: “The South Wales Metro will not only transform the way people travel around South Wales, but the billion-pound investment programme is providing valuable opportunities for local people and Welsh companies in our supply chain.

“We’re grateful for Jo Stevens MP visiting us today to see the progress we’re making with our industry partners to develop the Metro, as we work towards delivering faster, more frequent and greener services for our customers. Thank you to the Railway Industry Association and our partners in the Craidd Alliance, the first rail alliance in the world to achieve certification to ISO44001 collaboration standard, for their continuing support.”
Paul Chesman, Siemens Mobility’s Project Director for Wales and West, said: “I was pleased to share our involvement in this transformational project with Jo Stevens MP, demonstrating that Siemens Mobility has invested in the technology, people, skills and supply chain in the UK, to help deliver re-signalling of the Core Valley Lines.

"The improved journey times and doubling of train frequency is enabled by our UK-manufactured signalling technology, with our train control and traffic management technology making passenger journeys smooth. This will all help transform the everyday journeys of passengers across South Wales and make sustainable rail travel a reliable choice to make, helping to decarbonise. I look forward to the future success of the programme.”
Notes to Editors
1. About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the trade association for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has over 300 companies in membership, in a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (over 60% by number). RIA works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry. 
By taking part, Bob will become a member of the RIA Rail Fellowship, Class of 2022, and will be invited to an award ceremony in Parliament to celebrate his support for the local rail sector.
2. About Rail Fellowship Programme: RIA’s Rail Fellowship Programme encourages politicians of all stripes to gain hands-on experience of the rail sector, with site visits taking place in their local area. It has welcomed over 30 MPs, Peers, Ms, MSPs and AMs since 2018. The initiative has attracted politicians including former Rail minister Chris Heaton Harris, the last three Transport Select Committee Chairs, and the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps. 
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