Rolling stock

30.10.18

Future Vivarail Class 230 trains for London Northwestern Railway delayed by technical issues

The delivery of Vivarail’s Class 230 trains for the Marston Vale Line is behind schedule due to “technical issues” and will not be ready for their planned December introduction.

West Midland Trains and Vivarail released a joint statement saying “both partners have worked tirelessly to bring the trains into service for the December timetable change as scheduled,” but technical issues with the first train had a knock-on effect on the rest, delaying the units.

The timetable is due to change on the Marston Vale Line between Bletchley and Bedford in December, with the route forming part of the future East-West Rail service between Oxford, Bedford and eventually Cambridge.

Vivarail said it was “disappointed” that the deadline could not be met and takes full responsibility for the delay, but said it was “confident the full fleet would be ready for service in the New Year.”

London Northwestern Railway (LNR) said its services and the new timetable will continue to run on the Marston Vale Line this December using existing rolling stock.

The head of stations for LNR, Jonny Wiseman, said: “We were disappointed to learn, from Vivarail, that the Class 230 trains for the Marston Vale Line will not be ready for the December 2018 timetable change.

“We want to reassure passengers that we will continue to run the Bedford – Bletchley service with existing trains until the Vivarail units are available.

“The Class 230 programme is an innovative scheme that will deliver many benefits to local rail users. We will continue to support Vivarail in bringing this new concept to the Marston Vale Line.”

Adrian Shooter, CEO of Vivarail, said: “My experience in the rail industry means I am fully aware of the problems that can occur when introducing new trains and that one unforeseen event can easily overturn months or even years of planning.

“That is the case here and at Vivarail we hold our hands up to that fact.

Shooter said, however, that he was confident that his team could deliver the finished trains with minimal delay and allow LNR to bring them into service soon.

“I know that there is a great deal of anticipation to see the Class 230s in service and I am confident that the short wait will be worth it.”

The deal between Vivarail and LNR was officially signed in March, with Vivarail recently unveiling a special livery for the Class 230 trains in August.

 Image credit - Vivarail

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