Train company Vivarail has struck a deal with UK operator West Midlands Trains (WMT) to build three new D-Trains for use on the Marston Vale line between Bedford and Bletchley.
These trains, scheduled to enter service in 2018, will be the first to be introduced in the new franchise.
Announcing the news, Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter said that it marks a big day for the company.
He added: “We have invested considerable time and money to bring our innovative D-Train to this point and we are delighted to be working with West Midlands Trains to introduce them into passenger service.
“As a West Midlands based company it will be extremely gratifying to see our trains running on local lines and we look forward to passenger feedback. Our trains will be built to the high standards West Midlands Trains has committed to and will provide the flagship service for the region.”
WMT is spending almost £700 million on new trains. The Class 230s will be the first of more than 400 extra carriages WMT is adding to the network.
Vivarail was formed by Mr Shooter in 2013 to buy old D78 metro stock from the London Underground and transform the disused carriages into state of the art passenger trains for use as local commuter-type trains.
The company’s upcycled D-Trains retain the bodyshell and bogies of the original vehicles, while fitting them with modern engines and cutting-edge technology to create eco-friendly trains that have lower fuel consumption and low emissions.
Vivarail is based at a large site in Long Marston, near Stratford upon Avon, where it stores its stock of 226 carriages and can refurbish and refit the trains to specific client requirements. Its new 11,000 sq ft production facility in Seaham will be used to assemble the powerpacks and wiring looms needed to run the trains.
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