Vivarail has announced that the prototype Class 230 will be in passenger service this year. The 3-car train will be leased to a consortium led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and operated by London Midland for an initial period of 12 months on the Coventry to Nuneaton line.
The two driving cars will retain their original ‘crowd-busting’ layout whilst the middle car will showcase different seating and table arrangements. Our aim is to gain direct thoughts from the public about what suits their needs which we will be important in discussions with future operators.
“Working with the team led by WMCA is an added bonus for us; we are proud to be based in the West Midlands and to see our train running on a ‘local’ route is exceptionally pleasing. We look forward to serving the people of Coventry and Warwickshire throughout this trial period!”
Cllr Roger Lawrence, transport lead on WMCA, said: “The use of the D Train is an innovative proposition which could help us get around the UK shortage of suitable diesel trains to run on this line.
“It should enable more carriages to be provided sooner than would otherwise have been the case and we would encourage passengers to give their feedback once the pilot scheme is up and running.”
Talking about the possibility of the prototype train being used to serve the Ricoh, Councillor David Welsh, Deputy Cabinet Member for Jobs and Regeneration, said, “I’m delighted that we have been able to work with local partners to trial this new train. Anything we can do to boost the number of people that can travel to the Ricoh by train has got to be good news.
“The trains are a really innovative solution to the shortage of diesel trains across the UK and this is a really good example of local people feeling the benefits of the city being part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). I’m also delighted that we have been able to work with a local company to find what looks like a very smart solution to the lack of rolling stock.”
The Class 230 has been designed as a cost-effective solution to over-crowding on the rail network. The train costs considerably less to acquire and run, about a third less than a comparable unit, and uses about a third less fuel. The ground-breaking engine modules allow the train to be maintained trackside, rather than needing to return to a depot. Each driving car is powered by two independent Gensets which ensure the train can operate at near full power even if one engine should fail. Additionally the train is subject to 24/7 remote monitoring to ensure smooth and continuous service throughout its operating hours.
The Class 230 D-Train uses proven technology and innovative systems to give low costs, early delivery, faster acceleration, increased capacity and more comfort. The bodyshells and bogies from surplus London Underground District Line trains are combined with new diesel engines and modern control systems to create Diesel Multiple Unit (DMUs). 2- and 3-car units can be supplied, with interior layouts configured for City, Commuter or Country rail services. The D-Train meets all current standards up to and including the 2020 PRM-TSI regulations.