Passengers in Lichfield are being given a first glimpse of a new electric train which is set to be introduced on the cross city line.
West Midlands Railway said the Class 730 fleet being built at Bombardier in Derby will feature free Wi-fi, at-seat power and USB sockets as well as dedicated wheelchair spaces and bicycle storage.
Construction of the first train has been completed and the unit is currently undergoing testing in Europe ahead of its expected introduction into passenger service next year.
The operator has ordered 36 new trains – a total of 108 carriages – for the cross city line, with sister company London Northwestern Railway taking a further 225 carriages for its West Coast Main Line services.
Julian Edwards, managing director of West Midlands Railway, said:
“These superb new electric trains will enhance the travelling experience for our customers and I am delighted to see for myself that progress has been continuing apace despite the challenge of coronavirus.
“This is one of two new fleets we are introducing as we increase our capacity by 25% as we continue to welcome passengers back to the railway.
“Now more than ever our £700m investment into our new train projects will play a vital role in the future of train travel in the West Midlands and beyond.”Julian Edwards, West Midlands Railway
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said the new carriages would have a range of benefits.
“These state-of-the-art trains will make a real difference to commuters, not only with their modern new features but by adding extra capacity onto a line that has been a victim of its own success.
“These electric trains are an even greener alternative to the car and are key in the fight against air pollution and climate change.
“It is crucial we continue to invest in our network to improve services for passengers and it is brilliant to see West Midlands Railway doing just that and pressing ahead with its planned £700million investment.”Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor