Vivarail loses trial funding after train fire

FUNDING that would support the trial of the prototype Vivarail Class 230 DMU has been withdrawn following a fire on the train at Kenilworth on December 30.

Smoke billows from the fire on the last carriage of the Vivarail prototype train No. 230001 at Kenilworth on December 28. FRASER PITHIE

There were 10 staff on the train and all were evacuated safely, with the incident being reported to RAIB by West Coast Railway Company, which was crewing the train.

D-train unit No. 230001 had been working from its base at Tyseley Locomotive Works to Nuneaton, ahead of a run to Coventry to test run the route it was to have been trialled on during January. However, the fire, subsequent damage and delay to the trial, means there is insufficient time to consider the D-train proposals within the timescale for bids for the next West Midlands franchise. As a result, the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has withdrawn financial support.

The WMCA has said that opportunities “for this line and other routes in the region where the shortage of available rolling stock is impacting on capacity would be discussed with Vivarail at a future stage”.

Read more in February’s issue of The RM – out now!

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