New Wrexham to Bidston hybrid trains first journey to North Wales is a ‘Champagne moment’ for manufacturer
The UK’s first battery-powered hybrid train – which is set to come into service in Flintshire – has quietly made its debut in North Wales this evening.
The new train, one of five being built for Transport for Wales arrived at Wrexham General Station ahead of scheduled crew training according to reports.
Vivarail’s Class 230 ‘D-Train’ is made from redundant London tube trains and re-engineered into modern units.
The Stratford on Avon based company said the trains journey to North Wales from their Long Marston depot was a ‘Champagne moment’ and tweeted:
I would like to say we’re all crowded around mission control eagerly watching the TV and RCM links and about to crack open a celebratory bottle. Sadly, I’m writing this from my home desk! But what a day! This is the UK’s first battery hybrid built by Vivarail!!!
— Vivarail (@Vivarail) July 20, 2020
The train is powered by 2 batteries on each driving car with 4 diesel gensets on the middle car to charge the batteries and as a secondary source of traction.
It is also geo-fenced so the gensets are never used in stations or sensitive areas.
The Class 230 unit which arrived in Wrexham this evening is one of two sets built, it has successfully completed over two thousand miles tests on the relatively flat Cotswold line.
It will be put through its paces on the more challenging Wrexham to Bidston line for first time on Tuesday during a test run.
The new trains were expected to come into service towards the end of 2019, but they were delayed.
Transport minister Ken Skates told Deeside.com last month that introduction of the new trains on the Borderlands Line had been further delayed due to the Covid outbreak.
He said: “There have been delays in terms of getting these units on the Wrexham to Bidston line, coronavirus has unfortunately delayed many schemes including transport schemes but as soon as we can get these units onto the line then we will do so.”
The trains use the bogies and aluminium bodyshells of withdrawn London Underground D78 metro trains have fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning.
[Feature Image Courtesy of Wrexham Bidston Rail Users’ Association]
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