NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 7th, 2018.
The ‘new’ class 230 trains will be converted from retired London Underground D78 stock, some nearly 40 years old.
One rail insider told Deeside.com. ”the D78 tube trains have been maintained to a very high standard by London Underground, have corrosion resistant aluminium bodies, and were extensively rebuilt 10 years ago with brand new bogies and other mechanical equipment.”
The hybrid trains will have both battery power plants and supplementary diesel engines as a fail-safe and will be the first to come into service as part of the new franchise.
Adrian Shooter, CEO of Vivarail, said
“This is a very exciting day for us and we are proud to be supplying the first of the new trains for Wales.
We know that KeolisAmey want to bring the best new trains to their passengers so our interior layout has been designed to do exactly that.
As well as the wide and spacious carriages the trains will have a Universal Access Toilet, WiFi, air conditioning, USB ports and 3-pin sockets.
There will be a range of seating layouts and plenty of space for bikes and luggage.
With KeolisAmey we have been determined to give passengers the very best travelling experience and the trains they deserve: modern, comfortable, reliable and environmentally-friendly.
I’m delighted to announce that our trains will be built as battery/diesel hybrids to cut down on emissions and make use of the exciting new technology we have developed over the past two years.
As the UK’s leading battery train manufacturer we know that emission-free trains are the future and we will continue to spearhead that development.
With this hybrid fleet we will deliver a train that is clean, green and reliable making use of GPS systems to cut out the engines in stations and environmentally-sensitive areas.
Our trains will come into service in summer 2019 and will form the flagship fleet for Wales and Borders and I look forward to taking the first journey in North Wales next year.”
Colin Lea, Mobilisation Director, KeolisAmey Wales Cymru, said:
“We are proud to announce that KeolisAmey and Vivarail will provide a step-change in passenger comfort and service quality on three North Wales routes (Wrexham-Bidston, Conwy Valley, Chester-Crewe) by introducing these units, fitted with the latest passenger comfort appliances such as power supply at all seats, high-speed Wi-Fi, air-cooling, bike spaces, and a brand new seating layout reflecting the needs of the passengers on these routes.
“In addition, these innovative hybrid trains fitted with state of the art monitoring systems, will provide a significant change in performance and reliability, helping KeolisAmey to deliver a more reliable service for its customers.”
Design and build of the 3-car trains is already underway at Vivarail’s two sites and orders have been placed with the leading supplier of Universal Access Toilets based in Cwmbran.
The fleet of 5 trains will move to Wales for final testing and commissioning in early 2019.
‘New’ diesel/battery hybrid trains for Wales & Borders franchise. In fact (@Vivarail doesn’t mention this here) they’re upcycled retired London District Line stock which I think is wonderful https://t.co/UNhEO0Ymjp pic.twitter.com/H9BNhz74cz
— Hugh Pearman (@hughpearman) June 7, 2018