Arriva Trains Wales, working with the Welsh Government and Transport for Wales, is to upgrade its Class 158 and 150 fleets to make them more accessible and better for the environment.
Both fleets will be fitted with toilet retention tanks. The Cambrian line, which is exclusively used by Class 158 units will become the first in Wales where no passenger service toilets flush onto the tracks.
The 18-month programme, which will continue under KeolisAmey when it takes over the franchise in October, will also include fully accessible toilets, additional wheelchair spaces and door modifications.
The Welsh Government is providing £200,000 for new equipment at Machynlleth Traincare Depot to empty the retention tanks.
Arriva Trains Wales managing director Tom Joyner said: “We are passionate about making rail travel accessible for everyone, no matter what their mobility needs.
“We have worked hard do deliver a comprehensive plan for these trains and customers can look forward to enjoying these benefits soon.
“This investment will go a long way to achieving those goals and shows a commitment to leave the rail industry in the best possible position at the end of the Arriva Trains Wales franchise.”
Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates AM said: “We are pleased to see the work starting on the improvement of the passenger facilities on these trains, ensuring all 120 carriages meet the accessibility requirements prior to 2020.
“Our investment into enhanced facilities at Machynlleth depot will ensure that the class 158 trains continue to be maintained locally to the route and passengers they predominantly serve.”
Stephen McGurk, Porterbrook’s chief commercial officer said: “Porterbrook is investing over £10 million in accessibility improvements to our fleet of 36 Class 150 trains operated by Arriva Trains Wales.
“We are particularly pleased to be able to involve the local supply chain in this work with the brand-new, fully accessible, toilet modules being made by ‘Precision Custom Composites’ of Cwmbran.”
Malcolm Brown, chief executive of Angel Trains, added: “We are pleased to see work get underway on the modernisation of the Class 158 and 150 fleets. We are committed to working with the industry to make rail travel more accessible for all passengers and lessen its environmental impact.”