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1st Jul, 2022

FIRST LOOK: new £700m electric train fleet on track for 2021 launch in Solihull and Birmingham

HERE’S a sneak peak of the brand new state-of-the-art electric commuter trains launching on the West Coast Main Line between Liverpool and London via Coventry and the West Midlands in 2021.

London Northwestern Railway (LNR) has invested £700m on introducing dozens of new Class 730 fleet to cater for the millions of passengers journeys taken on the line every year.

And this is the very first one – just off the production line in Derby.

The company has ordered 45 new electric trains – a total of 225 carriages – for the West Coast Main Line, with sister company West Midlands Railway taking a further 108 carriages for its Solihull and Birmingham services.

Features include intelligent air conditioning systems, free WiFi, at-seat power and USB sockets as well as dedicated wheelchair spaces and bicycle storage.

Construction of the first train of the new fleet has been completed and it is currently undergoing testing in Europe ahead of its expected launch into passenger service next year.

LNR managing director Julian Edwards, who was joined senior officials from manufacturer Bombardier, to inspect the finished train on the production line in Derby yesterday (Tue), 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 right across our network.”

Matt Byrne, President UK & Ireland Bombardier Transportation said: “These cutting-edge AVENTRA trains will transform journeys for LNR’s passengers all along the West Coast Main Line. Designed and built here in the UK, they represent the future of rail travel for the LNR network.”

The investment in new trains by West Midlands Trains includes a new diesel fleet for West Midlands Railway, which will introduce 26 new Class 196 diesel trains onto its Birmingham-Hereford and Birmingham-Shrewsbury routes.

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