First D-Trains lined up for West Mid­lands Trains in 2018

Rail (UK) - - Network News -

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.


The West Mid­lands Rail­way liv­ery ap­plied to 172339. The three-car diesel mul­ti­ple stands at Birm­ing­ham Moor Street on De­cem­ber 11, fol­low­ing the launch of the West Mid­lands Trains fran­chise.


The Lon­don North­west­ern Rail­way liv­ery ap­plied to 350373. The four-car elec­tric mul­ti­ple unit stands in­side King’s Heath de­pot (Northamp­ton) on De­cem­ber 11.

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