Newly awarded rail project in Wales will lead to hundreds of jobs

The Welsh Government’s billion-pound contract to upgrade the railway network in South Wales will create hundreds of new jobs.

Investment in three new train fleets, the next phase of the Metro, the electrification of commuter routes radiating from Cardiff and station modernisation was awarded to KeolisAmey on 4 June.

According to Wales Online, KeolisAmey, a partnership between French transport giant Keolis and Spanish infrastructure management consultancy Amey, will take on the 15-year rail franchise in October and deliver a £738m project to electrify most of the core Valley Lines into Cardiff, which are now being referred to as Central Metro.

Keolis UK intends to move its headquarters from London to a new office in Wales by next year, and Keolis will also relocate its global rail division from Paris to Wales by 2020.

In addition, Amey is due to open a new design hub in Wales to offer consultancy services. Further jobs will be created when the companies open a shared services and customer contact centre providing services to both businesses.

These jobs are in addition to the 600 jobs and the 400 apprenticeships that KeolisAmey will create through the new rail franchise and next phase of the Metro. More than 2,000 staff working for current rail franchise operator, Arriva Trains Wales, will transfer over to KeolisAmey.

Basque-based train builder CAF Rolling Stock has been subcontracted to manufacture the new trains at its new assembly hub, which is under construction at the old steelworks in Llanwern, Newport. The factory, due to open in the autumn, will create up to 300 new jobs by 2019. 

CAF has already sent six production team leaders and the production line manager for two months of training at its plant in Irun, in the Basque region of Spain. 

Graham Taylor, chief operating officer for CAF Rolling Stock UK, said: “So far we have had an excellent response to our recruitment campaign, and we are very pleased with the quality of candidates and the amount of interest and support we have received from the local community.”

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