Vivarail, a company formed in 2012 is to produce a new type of rolling stock designed for local rail services, has recently begun main-line trials of its 2-car Class 230 prototype diesel train.
Built at Long Marston and known as the D-Train, it has the bodyshell of a former London Underground electric Tube train and has been running on test between Tysley and Leamington Spa, where its full speed of 60mph has been attained.
Over 200 of London Underground's District Line D78, 228-car stock, which is in the process of being phased out, has been purchased by Vivarail.
The company claims that by re-using the bogies and aluminium bodyshells, while replacing everything else, it can produce economic and easily maintained diesel trains.
Instead of being powered by electricity, as per its life on the London Underground, motive power is provided by Ford Duratorq 3.2 litre diesel engines of 150 kw (200 hp)
Although Vivarail has yet to receive any firm orders for their D-Trains, there may be plans ahead for London Midland to run a prototype under trial on the Coventry to Nuneaton line.
The original trains were built between 1979 and 1983 by Metro-Cammell, Birmingham
It is hoped that the Class 230 D-Train will be passenger service certified early in 2017.
Along These Tracks Update: Fire Breaks Out On Vivarail Class 230 D-Train
It has transpired that a fire, which burned for about 30 minutes, broke out on Vivarail's prototype Class 230 D-Train during a non-passenger test run at Kenilworth on the 30th December 2016.
It was later found that the fire was caused by a leak in the high pressure fuel system, possibly ignited by the turbocharger.
Vivarail CEO Adrian Shooter said: "We believe that we have found the root cause and a number of contributory factors which prolonged the fire. We are determined that there will never be a repetition and believe that the measures we have set out will achieve this end".
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