Vivarail to provide trains for West Midlands Trains

Credit: Vivarail

Designers of Class 230 battery powered train, Vivarail, has today announced that they have entered into an agreement with West Midlands Trains to build three of their new 230 trains (also known as the D-Trains).

The new trains will be used on West Midlands Trains service on the Marston Vale line between Bedford, in Bedfordshire, and Bletchley, in Buckinghamshire.

These will be the first trains to be introduced within the new franchise, who took over from London Midland in 2017 and demonstrate their commitment to providing high quality rolling stock.

The new trains are expected to begin operation in 2018.

What did the officials say?

Vivarail’s CEO, Adrian Shooter, said “This is a big day for Vivarail.  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. 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. We congratulate the team at West Midlands Trains on their successful bid and look forward to working with them over the coming months.”

West Midlands Trains’ customer service director, Andrew Conroy, said “We are investing in almost £700 million of new trains for our passengers. The class 230s will be the first of over 400 extra carriages we are adding to our network. These trains are ideal for Bedford to Bletchley route. I am sure our passengers will welcome the new look and feel of the carriages and the extra space. 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.”


  1. Could Great Western Railway order some of the Class 230’s to replace the Class 150’s, Class 153’s/156’s and Class 142’s/143’s Pacers on the local branch lines in Devon and Cornwall including: Riviera Line (Exeter – Paignton) Avocet Line (Exeter – Exmouth) Tarka Line (Exeter – Barnstaple) Atlantic Coast Line (Par-Newquay) Looe Valley Line (Liskeard-Looe) St Ives Bay Line (St Erth-St Ives) and Tamar Valley Line (Plymouth-Gunnislake) routes.

    And Arriva Trains Wales also to order some or most of the Class 230’s to replace the Class 142’s/143’s Pacers and other units with the Class 230’s to operate on the Welsh Valley lines and Cardiff suburban services including: Butetown Branch Line aka Cardiff Bay Line (Cardiff Queen St.-Cardiff Bay) City Line (Cardiff Queen St.-Radyr) Coryton Line (Cardiff Central-Coryton) Vale of Glamorgan Line (Cardiff Central-Bridgend) Merthyr Lines (Cardiff Central-Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff Central-Aberdare) Rhondda Line (Cardiff Central-Treherbert) Rhymney Line (Cardiff Central-Rhymney) and Ebbw Valley Railway (Cardiff Central-Ebbw Vale Town) routes.

    • Aswell West Midlands Trains that could more Class 230’s to operate on outer-suburban services such as Whitlocks End-Kidderminster, Dorridge-Kidderminster and Leamington Spa-Stratford-Upon-Avon services.


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