Rail passengers in the West Midlands have been given a sneak peek of the new train fleet that will soon enter service on the Cross City line in Birmingham.
West Midlands Railway is introducing dozens of new trains to the line, which runs between Lichfield, Bromsgrove and Redditch.
Julian Edwards, Managing Director of West Midlands Railway, and Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor, inspected the Class 730 fleet at Bombardier’s base in Derby.
The building of the first train has been completed, and the unit is now undergoing testing in Europe ahead of introduction to passenger service in 2021.
West Midlands Railway has ordered 36 new trains for the Cross City line, and London Northwestern Railway has ordered 225 carriages for its services between London Euston and Liverpool and Birmingham.
Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Railway, said: “These superb new electric trains will enhance the travelling experience for our customers and I am delighted to see for myself that progress has been continuing apace despite the challenge of coronavirus.
“This is one of two new fleets we are introducing as we increase our capacity by 25% as we continue to welcome passengers back to the railway.
“Now more than ever our £700m investment into our new train projects will play a vital role in the future of train travel in the West Midlands and beyond.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “These state-of-the-art trains will make a real difference to commuters on the Cross-City Line, not only with their modern new features but by adding extra capacity onto a line that has been a victim of its own success. These electric trains are an even greener alternative to the car and are key in the fight against air pollution and climate change.
“Public transport has been one of the real success stories of the West Midlands in recent years, with every mode – train, bus, and tram – seeing an increase in patronage. Clearly, coronavirus has stalled that progress, but we must not get knocked off course.
“It is crucial we continue to invest in our network to improve services for passengers, and it is brilliant to see West Midlands Railway doing just that and pressing ahead with its planned £700m investment.”
Matt Byrne, President UK & Ireland Bombardier Transportation said: “These cutting-edge AVENTRA trains will transform journeys for WMR’s passengers in the West Midlands. Designed and built-in Derby they really are made in the Midlands for the Midlands.”
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