UK-based Vivarail has signed an agreement to lease its prototype Class 230 three-car train to a consortium led by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
London Midland will initially operate the train for a 12-month period when it enters passenger service on the Coventry to Nuneaton line.
Designed as a cost-effective solution to overcrowding on the rail network, the Class 230 train uses less amount of fuel.
The train’s engine modules allow it to be maintained trackside. It is subject to continuous remote monitoring to ensure smooth service throughout its operating hours.
Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter said: “We will be supplying a train of the highest quality with three carriages fitted out in a range of designs, which will allow us to get valuable feedback on what passengers actually want.
“The two driving cars will retain their original ‘crowd-busting’ layout whilst the middle car will showcase different seating and table arrangements.”
Two independent Gensets used to power the driving cars will ensure that the train will be able to operate at near full power, even if one engine fails.
During the lease period, Vivarail will maintain and analyse the train, which will provide data for that can be used to develop further.
WMCA transport lead councillor Roger Lawrence said: “The use of the D Train is an innovative proposition, which could help us get around the UK shortage of suitable diesel trains to run on this line.
“It should enable more carriages to be provided sooner than would otherwise have been the case and we would encourage passengers to give their feedback once the pilot scheme is up and running.”