First Vivarail Class 230 Enters Passenger Service
The first of the Vivarail Class 230 fleet has entered service today, Tuesday 23rd April 2019
Vivarail class 230 unit number 230004 entered service 23/04/19 on the Bedford to Bletchley Marston Vale line – the first day in passenger service for the new train class.
230004 entered service today on the 05:16 2S01 Bletchley to Bedford service (link to schedule) and will work all day between Bletchley and Bedford.
Train 2S01 runs SX from 10/12/18 to 17/05/19 Type WTT DMU Timed at 075mph Bletchley 0516 Fenny Stratford 0519-0519 Bow Brickhill 0522-0523 Woburn Sands 0527-0527 Aspley Guise 0529-0530 Ridgmont 0533-0534 Lidlington 0537-0538 Millbrook (Bedfordshire) 0540-0541 Stewartby 0543-0544 Kempston Hardwick 0547-0548 Bedford St Johns 0553-0554 Bedford 0600
It is one of 2 units out today, the other being the existing WMT class 150, which are expected to move to Northern.
The Vivarail class 230 trains replace the existing London North Western Railway class 150 units operating the route. For some time, the class 230 trains have been in testing on the route prior to service entry.
These new units built by Vivarail use the recently retired London Underground D78 stock trains. They have been modified and fitted with a Ford DuraTorque engine and are diesel powered with refurbished interiors, traction motors and bogies.
The Vivarail class 230 units are fitted with wedgelock couplings and run in 2 car formation. West Midlands Trains will operate 3 x class 230 trains (230003, 230004 and 23005) , whilst Transport for Wales will operate 5 units on the Borderlands Line, Conwy Valley line and Chester to Crewe line from mid-2019 onwards. TfW’s 230s will be battery – diesel hybrid units. The class 230 has a top speed of 60mph.
The Vivarail units were due to enter service in 2017, but mainline testing was postponed due to a fire on prototype 230001 and as a result, this pushed back the launch date.