The Class 230 ‘D-Train’ – redundant London tube trains re-engineered into modern trains – entered service in Bedfordshire today.
Described as a landmark moment for manufacturer Vivarail, the first Class 230 train began operating on the Marston Vale Line with the 5.16am Bedford to Bletchley service.
Three diesel versions of the Class 230 units, which began life as District Line underground trains – will operate on the line.
— Marston Vale Line (@marstonvalecrp) April 23, 2019
Stratford upon-Avon based Vivarail is putting the finishing touches to a fleet of Class 230 trains which will be delivered to Transport for Wales in the next few months (TfW).
The new diesel and battery hybrid units will operate on the Wrexham to Bidston line and provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly service the Welsh government says.
Each train will have 3 carriages containing 125 seats with a total capacity of 293, they are expected to come into service later this year.
The ‘D-Trains’ have been converted from retired London Underground D78 stock, they will form part of a £5 billion investment being made by TfW across Wales.
The newly rebuilt trains utilise the bogies and aluminium bodyshells of redundant D78 tube trains, features include fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning.
TfW is not ‘shouting’ too much about the origins of their new D-Trains – perhaps for fear of criticism – but those ‘in the know’ say the new units are fantastic and will be a huge upgrade on the current rolling stock used on the Wrexham to Bidston line which services several Flintshire towns.
[ Marston Vale Line trains making sure passengers are aware of the D-Stock heritage – Image credit: Marston Vale Line]
Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter told railnews.co.uk: “This is a very proud day for all at Vivarail and I am delighted to see the first of our trains in passenger service. Our design and engineering work has been focused on ensuring the Marston Vale trains are of the quality and standard the passengers deserve.”
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.”