London Northwestern Railway (LNR) has introduced the first of its Class 730 electric passenger trains on the West Coast Main Line.
These three-carriage Class 730/0 sub-class units will typically operate in pairs as 6-carriage trains.
Due to their spacious interiors, the six-carriage Class 730/0s have a higher total capacity than the eight-carriage trains they are replacing.
The new units are ultimately planned for service on routes in the West Midlands but have been temporarily introduced on the West Coast Main Line until five-carriage Class 730/2s are brought into operation next year.
The first service was the 6.04 am departure from Bletchley to London Euston on Monday 13 November. Initially, the Class 730s will run six passenger services every weekday, but this will increase over the next few weeks as more units are deployed.
The next route that will leverage the Class 730/0s will be between Walsall and Wolverhampton early next year, followed by the Cross City Line through Birmingham.
Once fully rolled out, the Class 730 fleet will consist of 324 new carriages across 82 trains with a mix of three/six-carriage and five/10-carriage formations.
“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.
“We are pleased we are able to utilise the Class 730s to increase overall capacity on our routes to and from London Euston before we bring the fleet to the West Midlands next year.”
Passengers travelling on the Class 730s will benefit from increased capacity; improved accessibility; more bicycle storage; clear luggage racks; smart digital screens; plug and USB sockets at every seat; intelligent lighting that saves energy by optimising ambient light; and free Wi-Fi.
Following the introduction of the Class 196 fleet on routes operated by LNR’s sister company West Midlands Railway last year, the Class 730 fleet is part of West Midlands Trains’ 690 million GBP investment in new trains and infrastructure.
The launch of these new trains will allow for the withdrawal of LNR’s five remaining Class 319 units by the end of 2023.
In addition, once they are introduced on the Cross City Line next year, the current Class 323 trains will be transferred to Northern.
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