UK: Vivarail has reached an agreement to supply three two-car Class 230 D-Train diesel-electric multiple-units to West Midlands Trains for operation from December on the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley.

Vivarail’s D-Train uses aluminium bodyshells and bogies from former D78 metro trainsets withdrawn from service by London Underground.

West Midlands Trains Customer Service Director Andrew Conroy said the Class 230 would be ‘ideal’ for the Bedford – Bletchley route. ‘I am sure our passengers will welcome the new look and feel of the carriages and the extra space’, he said. ‘When the new trains come on stream in December we will also be adding extra early morning and late night services on the Marston Vale line Monday to Saturday.’

Vivarail said the D-Train would meet all current standards, including the PRM TSI accessibility specifications coming into force from 2020. The D-Train concept is designed for diesel or battery power modules, with hydrogen fuel cells planned for the future. Vivarail expects that its first production battery vehicle will be approved and ready for passenger service this spring.

‘We have invested considerable time and money to bring our innovative D-Train to this point and we are delighted to be working with West Midlands Trains to introduce them into passenger service’, said Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter when the agreement was announced on March 1. ‘As a West Midlands-based company it will be extremely gratifying to see our trains running on local lines and we look forward to passenger feedback. Our trains will be built to the high standards West Midlands Trains has committed to and will provide the flagship service for the region.’