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London Northwestern operates most reliable electric trains

Press release   •   Nov 23, 2018 16:29 GMT

London Northwestern Railway has won this year’s Golden Spanner award for the most reliable First Generation Electric Multiple Unit in the UK.

The accolade was awarded to the Siemens 350/3 units, which are part of a fleet that operates over 80 services a day to and from London Euston.

The trains were recognised for running an average of 138,000 miles between technical incident over the past year.

London Northwestern Railway also leases Siemens 350/2 and 350/1 units. These came in second and third in the same category respectively. The train operator uses these trains not only on their services to and from the capital, but also to operate services between Birmingham and Liverpool.

Neil Bamford, engineering director at London Northwestern Railway said: “It’s been another fantastic year for our Class 350 trains. We will be keeping the fleet to run alongside the new units ordered for our West Coast Mainline services in future. We are very pleased to win this prestigious award; these trains are comfortable and extremely popular with passengers.”

Paul Ryan, fleet delivery manager for the 350/3 fleet based at Kings Heath said: “Excellent train reliability requires a proactive partnership between the maintainer and the operator. This outstanding result is a tribute to the hard work of the Siemens maintenance team and London Northwestern Railway train crew and operations personnel.”

London Northwestern Railway will continue to operate the 350/3 units alongside new trains that are currently being built to operate on the route. New AVENTRA Class 730 units, currently on order from Bombardier, will significantly increase capacity on the West Coast mainline from 2021.

Over the course of the franchise, London Northwestern Railway will also be providing 10,000 extra seats into London everyday. This will be achieved through a combination of new trains, extra carriages and timetable improvements.


For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email

About The Golden Spanners

Across six categories, the Golden Spanner is awarded for the most reliable train based on Miles per Technical Incident (MTIN). The Silver Spanner is awarded for the most improved (percentage improvement in MTIN). The Bronze Spanner is awarded for the fastest incident recovery, based on primary Delay minutes Per Incident (DPI). Each year there is also a wild card category – which has previously included Pacers or loco-hauled trains.

The Golden Spanners is now an annual event at which all those interested in railway rolling stock meet to discuss best practice and celebrate excellence in train maintenance. It features a morning conference on rolling stock matters before the lunch and handing out of the Spanners.

For more information visit

About West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.

For more information on these services visit or

The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.

West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.

The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit

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