First D-Trains lined up for West Midlands Trains in 2018
D-Trains supplied by Vivarail should enter traffic with West Midlands Trains (WMT) next year, as part of the new franchise that officially launched on December 11.
This would be the first order for the refurbished former London Underground D-Stock trains. WMT will use three two-car Class 230s on the Bedford-Bletchley line, and Abellio spokesman George Robinson told RAIL that the plan was for them to be introduced by December 2018.
The WMT franchise began on December 10, with its two new brands launched the following day. West Midlands Railway (WMR) operates in and around Birmingham, and London Northwestern Railway operates on the London Euston-Northampton- Birmingham-Liverpool routes.
The new deal, owned by Abellio (70.1%), East Japan Railway Company and Mitsui & Co. Ltd (29.9% in a 50/50 split), replaces the Govia-owned London Midland franchise that had operated since November 2007.
WMT says that of an announced £1 billion investment, some £680 million will be spent on new trains. On December 12, it confirmed a £542m deal with Bombardier for 36 90mph threecar electric multiple units for metro services and 45 110mph five-car EMUs, as well as 12 twocar and 14 four-car diesel multiple units from CAF for the West Midlands operations. Corelink Rail Infrastructure Limited will finance the CAF fleets.
New trains will be introduced from 2021. A new depot will also be constructed at Duddeston, in Birmingham.
WMR Chairman and leader of City of Wolverhampton Council Roger Lawrence said of the new franchise: “It has also been drawn up in such a way that it will be more effective in supporting wider economic growth and jobs across our region.”
As part of the franchise plans, eight two-car ‘172/0s’ will transfer from London Overground, while Classes 150, ‘153’, ‘170’ DMUs and ‘323’ and ‘350/2’ EMUs will be returned to their owners.