Tuesday 14 November 2023

London Northwestern Railway Welcomes Class 730 Fleet Into Passenger Service

London Northwestern Railway (LNR) has introduced the first of its Class 730 electric train fleet into passenger service on the West Coast Main Line.

The first service on 13h November was the morning’s 6.04am departure from Bletchley to London Euston, followed by the 7.24am return from Euston to Tring. Initially Class 730s will run six passenger services every weekday but this will be stepped up in coming weeks as more units are brought into service.

The first trains in service are from the three-carriage Class 730/0 sub-class, typically running with two units coupled together as six-carriage trains. The Class 730/0s – which are ultimately destined for routes in the West Midlands - have been introduced on the West Coast Main Line as a temporary measure until five-carriage Class 730/2s are brought into service next year.

Due to their spacious interiors, a six-carriage Class 730/0s has a higher total capacity than the eight-carriage trains they are replacing.

The next route where Class 730/0s will be deployed will be between Walsall and Wolverhampton early next year, followed by the Cross City Line through Birmingham. Once fully rolled out, the Class 730 fleet will consist of 324 new carriages across 82 trains in a mixture of three/six-carriage and five/10-carriage formations.

John Doughty, LNR Engineering Director, said:

“These state-of-the-art electric trains will make a real difference for customers across our network.

“The carriages of our Class 730s are longer and more spacious than our existing fleet, allowing us to carry more passengers and improve accessibility amongst a range of passenger benefits.

“We are pleased we are able to utilise the Class 730s to increase overall capacity on our routes to and from London Euston before we bring the fleet to the West Midlands next year.”

Passenger benefits of the Class 730s include:
Increased passenger capacity
Improved accessibility with spacious interiors
More bicycle storage, enabling up to three bikes to be carried
Clear luggage racks to avoid passengers leaving items behind
Smart new digital screens with useful information, such as tools to help passengers find quieter carriages
Plug and USB sockets accessible at every seat
Intelligent lighting which saves energy by optimising ambient light
Free WiFi

The introduction of the Class 730s into passenger service on the West Coast Main Line will allow the withdrawal of LNR’s five remaining Class 319 units by the end of 2023. 
The introduction of the Class 730s onto the Cross City Line next year will see the Class 323 trains currently in use on the route cascade to Northern.

Coming on the back of the introduction of the Class 196 fleet on routes operated by LNR’s sister company West Midlands Railway last year, the Class 730 fleet is part of parent company West Midlands Trains’ £690m investment in new trains and infrastructure.