Three two-car Vivarail Class 230 D-Train diesel-multiple-units are to be used the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley.

UK: The contract for the supply of three two-car Class 230 D-Train diesel-multiple-units for the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley has been formally signed, manufacturer Vivarail announced on August 22. Testing is expected to begin in the next few weeks, and entry into service is planned for December.

Produced using the aluminium bodyshells and bogies from redundant London Undeground D78 metro trains, the D-Train is intended a low-cost rolling stock option for lightly used routes.

The units for the Bedford – Bletchley line will have accessible toilets, USB sockets and face-to-back seating. They will be supplied as DMUs, with automatic engine cut-out at stations and the capability of future conversion to battery power.

‘I remember these trains from when they were on London Underground, but looking around the units there’s so much new equipment on board that they look and feel like brand new trains’, said Jan Chaudry-van-de-Velde, Managing Director of operator West Midlands Trains. ‘Vivarail has done a great job and these trains are an ideal match for this important local service.’

‘Everyone is pleased with the look and build quality and I’m very proud of the work my team has done’, said Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter. ‘I am particularly impressed with the London Northwestern Railway livery and their interior designs; they certainly showcase the Class 230 and I think will be well received by Marston Vale’s passengers.’

In a separate deal, incoming Wales & Borders franchisee KeolisAmey has ordered five three-car Class 230 diesel-battery multiple-units for use on the Wrexham – Bidston, Conwy Valley and Chester – Crewe routes from mid-2019.

  • The D-Train concept was described in the May 2015 issue of Railway Gazette International magazine, which subscribers can access in the digital archive.