Tuesday 25 April 2023

West Midlands 196 Units Sampled and Class 730's Spotted By Ken Jones

Ken Jones tried out the new West Midlands Trains Class 196 diesel units and also spotted some class 730 electric units on his travels

196 104 at Smethwick Galton bridge waiting for departure

The British Rail Class 196 Civity is a class of diesel multiple unit built for West Midlands Trains by Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF. A total of 26 units have been built; 12 two-car units and 14 four-car units.

196 108 arriving at the Bay Platform at Birmingham New Street from Shrewsbury

They are the first train of the Civity family to feature end gangways. They will be maintained at Tyseley depot where many are currently stabled waiting to be introduced onto the network.

Entry is via two pairs of doors sliding on either side of the coach leading to the vestibule, giving easy access for passengers with buggies, bicycles and mobility scooters.
The seating is 2+2, most of it airline style, but with a few table seats and they all have access to plug sockets. Seat alignment with windows is not perfect for all passengers.
The interior is bright and airy and very welcoming.

More information at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_196

Interior of 196 108 - no arm rests are provided

Unit number on side - at least it is above the platform. Front of units only carry last 3 numbers.

196 108 at Wolverhampton with service to Shrewsbury

196 104 arriving at Wolverhampton with service from Shrewsbury to Birmingham

The 196 units have carriage numbers and European numbers on them

The British Rail Class 730 Aventra[ is a type of electric multiple-unit passenger train designed by Bombardier Transportation and built by Alstom for West Midlands Trains. 
Ken spotted some of the new units stabled at Soho Depot (below)

WMR has ordered 36 new trains - a total of 108 carriages - for the Cross-City Line, with sister company London Northwestern Railway taking a further 225 carriages for its West Coast Main Line services between the West Midlands, Liverpool and London.

Interior of London North Western Class 730

Two separate batches of the fleet are being supplied; 48 three-car units and 36 five-car units. The will be maintained at Soho depot.