Further Progress for Vivarail as their First Battery Hybrid Passenger Train Delivered to Wrexham

July 24, 2020 1:08 AM
Originally published by Nick Hollinghurst - Working for Tring, for Britain and for You!

Vivarail Class 230 for Wrexham to Bidston Borders Line (Dee Times and Vivarail)This Monday, 20th July, 2020, the first trainset in an order of 5 battery hybrid passenger trains was delivered to rail and bus operator Trafnidiaeth Cymru in Wrexham to run on their Borders Line service between Wrexham in North Wales and Bidston on the Wirrall. At Bidston an easy change to Merseyrail makes for a fast and frequent service to Birkenhead and Liverpool.

In the five-step hierarchy of waste management options, immediately after Waste Prevention - the preferred option - comes Reuse, and this is what we see in action here. Reuse of rail rolling stock, especially of locomotives, is not new. However Vivarail, an engineering company now based in Southam, near Stratford-on-Avon, was set up in 2015 with the main objective of apecialising in producing and supplying economic and low-emission rebuilt passenger trainsets.

South West Railway has chosen Vivarail's Class 484 trainsets to be the basis of improved rail services on the Island Line on the Isle of Wight. These are refurbished London Underground D78 trains originally built in the 1970s and previously used on Transport for London's Northern Line. They will continue to use the existing 750 volt DC third-rail system on the island and the first of the 5 train order is expected to be delivered in September 2020 for testing.

Vivarail is now producing its Class 230 trainsets also based on London Underground D78 but from stock manufactured in the 1980s. They can be configured as battery-only with a 40 mile range, or as diesel-electric with diesel motors to keep the batteries charged and also able to supply additional motive power in addition to electric traction. Three 2-car diesel-electric trainsets have been running on the Marston Vale Line between Bletchley and Bedford, with the first having been delivered in April 2019.

The trainsets being supplied to Trafnidiaeth Cymru will be geo-fenced to ensure electric-only operation in intermediate stations and will be fitted with fully accessible toilets, power sockets, electronic passenger information, Wi-Fi, bike racks and air conditioning. The Borders Line a hilly and demanding route and winning this order this is a significant achievement for Vivarail. It is expected that this type of refurbished and refitted passenger train will provide a cost-effective way to retain and extend branch line and lightly-used routes as part of the "reverse Beeching" aspiration in so many localities across the UK.

Partly based on an article in the Deeside.com to whom acknowledgement for the picture is also due.