Thursday 6 April 2023

TfW Class 230 Vivarail Train Finally Enters Service

Railway history was made on the Borderlands Line between Wrexham and Bidston as Transport for Wales (TfW) introduced the first battery-hybrid trains used in regular passenger service in Wales.

The long-awaited first service operated by one of TfW’s Class 230 trains left Wrexham Central at 07:31, following months of testing and crew training. 

The class 230 trains have been late entering service due to the demise of Vivarail and various other factors.

The Class 230's were originally fitted with Ford Transit van engines, these have since been upgraded. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​
They were intended to come into service in 2019, but TfW eventually took delivery of units from Vivarail in July 2020. ‌

TfW own five three-carriage Class 230 trains, which each having over 120 seats and with capacity for over 420 customers – a significant increase over previous trains. The metro-style trains, which were repurposed from former London Underground trains, provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly service using diesel and batteries.

With fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning, the trains are a significant milestone for TfW, as they continue to deliver on their plans to transform rail services throughout Wales and the borders.

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change with responsibility for Transport, Lee Waters said: “This is great news. Funded by our £800m investment in a new fleet of trains, the Class 230s play an important part in our plans to transform rail services in Wales. These new trains will offer greater comfort, and modern facilities and with the new hybrid engines will be better for the environment.”

Alexia Course, Transport for Wales’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We’re delighted that the first Class 230 train has entered service. With hybrid engines and modern facilities, these trains will significantly improve the customer experience on the Borderlands Line by providing better facilities and increased capacity.

“We’re committed to improving services between North Wales and the Liverpool City Region. We’ve already introduced brand new trains on services between Chester and Liverpool, and we’re planning to increase the frequency of services between Wrexham and Bidston, as well as providing a new direct service between Llandudno and Liverpool via the North Wales coast.”