Class 230 D-Train

The Class 230 is an up-cycled multiple unit made from former London Underground D78 Stock, which were withdrawn by London Underground in 2017. Vivarail bought one hundred and fifty driving motors (DM) and three hundred carriages (T) from London Underground with the aim of converting them into diesel multiple units for use on National Rail. As the project has progressed Vivarail have also built battery and diesel-hybrid prototypes, the latter of which will be used by the second customer Transport for Wales.
LNWR 230 003 at Bow Brickhill

Number built: 26 (2 and 3-car sets)*
Built: 1979-1983 (Original D78)
2015- (Conversions)
Builder: (Original) Metro-Cammell
(Conversions) Vivarail
Motor: (DMU) Ford Duratorq diesel
Power: 800 hp (600 kW)

The first conversion was to a diesel-electric multiple unit which uses Ford Duratorq diesels. The prototype began testing in the Summer of 2016 with mainline testing beginning later in the year. Unfortunately in December the prototype unit caught fire near Kenilworth delaying the project. However the long-awaited breakthrough first order came for three units from London Northwestern Railway. LNWR have bought three two-car sets for use on the Marston Vale line [1] between Bletchley and Bedford. The Class 230 finally entered revenue service on this line at the end of April 2019.

Vivarail began tests of a battery powered version of the Class 230 on the Bo'ness and Kinnell Railway in late 2018 [2]. The battery version has four 106kWh battery arrays and an operational range between charges of sixty four kilometres.

The second order for the Class 230 is for five three-car sets for the Borderlands Line (between Wrexham and Bidston) operated by Transport for Wales. These will be diesel-hybrid units and will enter service in 2020 [3].

A sister unit to the Class 230 is the Class 484, which is a third-rail EMU converted from D78 Stock. This is due to replace the Class 483 on the Isle of Wight Island Line between Ryde Pier Head and Shanklin in 2021 (testing beginning in 2020) [4].
LNWR 230 004 at Kempston Hardwick

230 004 at Ridgmont

Aboard the 230

230 004 arrives at Kempston Hardwick

230 004 at Bletchley

* including units on order

[1] Underground News No. 688 (April 2019) p. 196
[2] Underground News No. 684 (December 2018) p. 676
[3] "Rolling stock challenges", Modern Railway (May 2019) p. 52
[4] Underground News No. 697 (January 2020) p. 40