UK: New West Midlands Railway Fleet Commences Service

West Midlands Railway’s (WMR) new train fleet has commenced passenger services on the Shrewsbury Line.

One of 26 new Class 196 trains transported its first passengers from Shrewsbury railway station to Birmingham New Street at around 7am on Monday 17 October.

This new Class 196 fleet features intelligent air conditioning, USB chargers and extra storage space. The trains also offer 25 percent more capacity than the vehicles they are replacing.

West Midlands Railway Fleet
The new Class 196 trains will provide more capacity as passengers numbers grow
Jonny Wiseman, WMR Customer Experience Director, said:

“I am delighted to see our Class 196 trains carrying passengers for the first time today. With smart air conditioning, power points at every seat and extra space on board, I am certain these trains will prove a hit with passengers.”

The Class 196 is the first new fleet introduced by West Midlands Railway in more than a decade and is part of its 690 million GBP investment in new trains and infrastructure.

The diesel trains were manufactured by CAF and consist of 80 carriages in total.

Richard Garner, business development director of CAF, said:

“CAF are proud to deliver the trains in this important order and are confident that West Midlands Trains customers will experience a step-change in the quality of their journeys with the significant improvements that the new fleets will bring.”

The Class 196 units will initially run on the Shrewsbury Line before also being introduced on the Hereford Line next year.

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