WITH less than three months before the planned introduction of Vivarail Class 230 DMUs on Bedford to Bletchley services, the first unit – No. 230003 – arrived on September 18 to begin tests.
The two-car set, complete with London Northwestern Railway branding as well as ‘Marston Vale’ decals, arrived by a circuitous route from Long Marston, where the DMU has been prepared. It ran via Honeybourne (reverse)-Oxford (reverse)-Leamington Spa-Coventry(reverse)-Rugby-Northampton-Bletchley (reverse for depot).
The units are being converted from former London Underground District Line D78 stock by Vivarail, and powered by a pair of Ford Duartorq 3.2-litre diesel engines mounted on modular racks.
The franchise is taking three two-car units, which should take over from Class 153s
when the December timetable change comes into force.
The D-Train has many benefits, including rapid engine change, cheaper operating costs, with options for a battery powered variant.
Vivarail has orders from Transport for Wales for five-three car units.
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