At 07.31 this morning, Monday, 3rd April, railway history was made in Wales when a battery-hybrid train was used for the first time in regular passenger service in the principality.
Transport for Wales has a fleet of five of the three-carriage Class 230 trains, with each carriage having a capacity of over 120 seats. The total train capacity is for over 420 passengers, which is a significant increase over the Class 150 diesel multiple-unit trains that used to operate services on the line. The trains have been re-engineered from former London Underground trains to provide a more efficient and environmentally friendly service.
The Class 230s have been converted from London Underground D Stock trains were used until 2017. They have since been completely rebuilt, with two lithium-ion batteries in the two driving vehicles and a diesel generator set in the centre car.
The train interiors have been improved with fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information displays, Wi-Fi, bike racks, and air conditioning. The trains mark a significant milestone for Transport for Wales in its plans to continue transforming rail services throughout Wales and the borders.
Alexia Course, Transport for Wales' Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We're delighted that the first Class 230 train has entered service. With hybrid engines and modern facilities, these trains will significantly improve the customer experience on the Borderlands Line by providing better facilities and increased capacity.
“We're committed to improving services between North Wales and the Liverpool City Region. We've already introduced brand new trains on services between Chester and Liverpool, and we're planning to increase the frequency of services between Wrexham and Bidston, as well as providing a new direct service between Llandudno and Liverpool via the North Wales coast.”