London Northwestern Railway (LNR) has marked a significant milestone by introducing the first of its Class 730 electric train fleet into passenger service on the West Coast Main Line. Marking a new era for LNR, the new fleet, it is hoped will offer passengers a better and more accessible travel experience.
The inaugural service happened last week, with the 6:04 AM departure from Bletchley to London Euston, followed by the 7:24 AM return journey. Initially, six passenger services will operate daily, gradually increasing as more Class 730 units enter service.
The state-of-the-art trains boast a range of passenger benefits, including increased capacity, improved accessibility, smart digital screens, plug and USB sockets at every seat alongside intelligent lighting, and free Wi-Fi.
☀️ Happy Monday, all - Serenity & Lauren here until 7pm today.— London Northwestern Railway (@LNRailway) November 13, 2023
🥳 It's an exciting day today... Our BRAND NEW 730's are making their official debut!
🌧️ Weather is wet & miserable today, so please take extra care when boarding & alighting your train.
📸 Down on the Stour pic.twitter.com/VIJVstUCVm
The first trains in service are from the three-carriage Class 730/0 sub-class, typically running with two units coupled together as six-carriage trains. The Class 730/0s – which are ultimately destined for routes in the West Midlands - have been introduced on the West Coast Main Line as a temporary measure until five-carriage Class 730/2s are brought into service next year. The design which includes more spacious interiors.
John Doughty, LNR Engineering Director, expressed his enthusiasm for the new fleet, stating, "These state-of-the-art electric trains will make a real difference for customers across our network. The carriages of our Class 730s are longer and more spacious than our existing fleet, allowing us to carry more passengers and improve accessibility amongst a range of passenger benefits."
The introduction of the Class 730s will also lead to the withdrawal of LNR's five remaining Class 319 units by the end of 2023. The Class 323 trains currently serving on the Cross City Line will also be replaced by the Class 730s next year, cascading to Northern.
This investment in new trains and infrastructure is part of LNR’s parent company West Midlands Trains' £690 million commitment to enhancing rail services across the region. Together with the Class 196 fleet introduced on routes operated by LNR’s sister company, Midlands Railway last year, these new trains represent a significant step forward for the company.
Photo Credit: @downonthestour