Vivarail DMU deployed at Bletchley

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).

Vivarail unit No. 230003 awaits the signal to access Bletchley at twilight on September 18. RYAN WALKER

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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