The Anonymous Widower

Class 230 And Class 319 Flex Fight It Out

The Class 319 Flex train and the Class 230 train share a lot of objectives.

  • They involve re manufacturing of redundant trains.
  • They feature new interiors.
  • They feature on-board diesel power-packs.
  • They would be capable of serving short to medium routes.

Some advantages of the Class 319 Flex are.

  • The ability to work on all main lines with electrification in the UK.
  • The trains have proven fairly reliable and they are getting more so, according to Modern Railways.
  • The trains are based on Mark 3 coaches, so are as tough as teak.
  • There are a total of 86 trains of which 47 are yet to be released by Thameslink.
  • The Class 319 is already certified for main line running at 100 mph.
  • Those behind the project have very deep pockets.

As an Electrical and Control Engineer, Ifeel that fitting the power packs under a Class 319, would be easier than on a Class 230.

I also think that a modified hybrid bus power unit could be used. The diesel engine would charge a battery, which then feeds into the main electrical bus as required. The battery could also be charged from the overhead wires or third rail.

A decent control system linked to a pantograph that could raise and lower at line speed automatically, could have great fun getting from A to B, using the smallest possible amount of diesel.

But the biggest problem for the Class 230 is the fire it suffered, which is described in this article on the BBC.

Since then because of time issues with the new London Midland Franchise, the Local Authorities, who were backing the trial on the Coventry to Nuneaton Line have backed out of the project.

As this came just eight days after Porterbrook announced the Class 319 Flex, the timing couldn’t have been worse.

London Midland must be a prime target for a Class 319 Flex.

  • They already run seven Class 319 trains.
  • They need a 100 mph train for running on the West Coast Main Line.
  • The train would be ideal for extending some of their routes over perhaps a dozen miles.
  • If the trains had a hybrid transmission, Routes like NUCKLE (Nuneaton – Coventry – Kenilworth – Leamington Spa) could be handled.
  • Extra services from London to new destinations without electrification, might be possible.

There are probably other companies on Porterbrook’s list of prospects.


Vivarail will have a struggle to sell large numbers of trains, against a larger, faster, more capable train of proven reliability.

January 10, 2017 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] a post entitled Class 230 And Class 319 Flex Fight It Out, I came to this […]

    Pingback by Modern Trains From Old « The Anonymous Widower | January 26, 2017 | Reply

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