The first test run of a Class 172/0 has been successfully completed between Leamington Spa and Nuneaton.
On Sunday 28 April, the four carriage train, made up of two units cascaded from London Overground, made it’s first through journey between the two stations.
From Monday 20 May, a new hourly through service will operate on the line from Monday to Saturday. From Sunday 19 May, passengers will also have a new Sunday service, operating as two services connecting at Coventry.
Rolling stock improvements from the start of the new timetable this Spring will see two Class 172/0s introduced on the line. These will replace the 31 year old Class 153s, which currently operate as single carriages to and from Coventry.
Jane Fisher, transition and projects director for West Midlands Railway, said: “These Class 172/0 trains will significantly improve the experience for our passengers, with more carriages, more seats and a newer train to cater for the growing popularity of the route. As well as the two units being used for our Leamington Spa to Nuneaton services, we will also have another six of these trains in our fleet by the end of May, to bring further benefits elsewhere on the network.”
When the new West Midlands Railway timetable is introduced, there will be a total of eight fully refurbished Class 172/0s available to the train operator.
- Two of these will be used between Leamington Spa and Nuneaton, operating as a two carriage service in each direction.
- One of the 172/0 units will start operating between Birmingham New Street and Hereford to replace a 33 year old Class 150 unit which is being cascaded to Northern.
- The remaining units will be used on the Snow Hill lines and to maintain capacity while the operator’s 27 existing Class 172 units undergo a modification programme.
There has also been an extensive rebranding exercise taking place across the West Midlands Railway network – with new liveries on all units being kept beyond the end of 2019 set to be completed by the end of the month.
This has seen an intermediate-livery for units the train operator will be cascading elsewhere within the next three years, and a full new livery for units being kept.
About West Midlands Trains
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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.
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 www.abellio.com
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