First Class 230 train enters service with London Northwestern Railway

230004
Credit: London Northwestern Railway

On Tuesday 23rd April 2019, the first of London Northwestern Railway‘s (LNR) Class 230 ‘D Train’ (230004) entered passenger service on the Marston Vale Line between Bedford and Bletchley.

Developed by Vivarail using up-cycled London Underground D78 Stock trains, the Class 230 will provide extra capacity and improve passenger’s experiences on the line. The trains include universally accessible toilets, a variety of seating arrangements, more space, as well as USB plug sockets at every seat.

LNR is set to operate three two-car Class 230 trains on the route once the project is complete by this Spring.

The D Trains are quiet, green, and clean; with automatic engine stop-start when the trains are at stations. Their light weight aluminium design allows the train to use less fuel, have quicker acceleration, and provide a more comfortable journey.

The trains feature a specially designed London Northwestern Railway livery, including artwork from local artist Alisha Miller, who was commissioned to produce three locally-relevant pieces of artwork, to be displayed on the inside of each train.

The two remaining Class 230s (230003 and 230005) are set to enter service within the coming weeks, and will be based and maintained at LNR’s Bletchley depot; creating a number of new jobs for the area.

As of the May 2019 timetable change, the Marston Vale Line will benefit from an enhanced Monday to Saturday timetable, with an hourly service throughout the day. LNR aim to introduce a Sunday service on the line from 2021.

What did the officials say?

LNR’s Customer Experience Director, Jonny Wiseman said

“The Class 230 train now operating on the Marston Vale line is a fantastic addition to our fleet – and will increase capacity on this popular line. There has been a lot of anticipation for the introduction of the D Trains from staff, railway enthusiasts, commuters and the local community, and we hope that our passengers find them comfortable and welcoming to travel on. These trains are unrecognisable from their former life on the Underground and Vivarail have created a modern and comfortable train, ideal for this route.”

Adrian Shooter, Chief Executive Officer of Vivarail added

“This is a very proud day for all at Vivarail and I am delighted to see the first of our trains in passenger service. Our design and engineering work has been focussed on ensuring the Marston Vale trains are of the quality and standard the passengers deserve. I think we’ve achieved that and I look forward to the feedback we’ll receive. The new livery is very appealing but the bespoke artwork really does stand out as something quite special. Our partners at London Northwestern Railway have worked tirelessly with us to bring these trains into service and I thank them once again for all the support and faith they have shown in us as we have grown from a start-up business into a full train manufacturer in such a short space of time.”

Local artist, Alisha Miller said

“It’s been a wonderful experience working along the picturesque Marston Vale line. I’ve met such friendly staff, passengers and community members who have helped inspire the three new artworks I’ve created for the Class 230 trains.”

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  • 2 more Class 230 DEMU units (230003 & 230005) should also join with 230004 as London Northwestern Railway have started using these up-cycled (re-cycled) and refurbished Class 230 that Vivarail are still continuing to upgrade more Class 230 units. Vivarail should continue on converting more Class 230 DEMU and Battery operated “D-Train” units to be operated elsewhere in England and also in Wales as Transport for Wales have ordered the Class 230 DEMU/Battery units to be used on local rural services in South Wales and also to be used on suburban routes in the Cardiff area.

  • A bold project that deserves to succeed, shall look forward to more of these units taking on rural services around the country. Looking forward to my first journey.