The Anonymous Widower

First D-Train With Transport for Wales In March 2019

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Magazine.

This is the first paragraph.

The first Class 230 D-Train for Transport for Wales should be ready by March 2019, with all five in traffic from May 2019.

There are also other details.

The Train Formation

More details are given about the formation of the Class 230 trains.

  • The trains will be three cars.
  • The driving cars will have batteries.
  • The centre car will have four generators.

When the trains were D78 Stock on the London Underground, they ran as a six-car train formed of two half-trains containing.

  • DM – Driving Motor
  • T – Trailer
  • UNDM – Uncoupling Non-Driving Motor

The two UNDM cars were coupled together, to form the six-car train.

So is the formation of a Class 230 train as follows?

  • DM – Driving Motor with battery
  • T – Trailer with four generators
  • DM – Driving Motor with battery

I would suspect that the DM cars are identical.

Regenerative Braking

The trains will have regenerative braking, where the energy recovered will be stored in the batteries.

In the D78 Stock, the Trailer car wasn’t motored, so unless motors are fitted in this application, the two Driving Motor cars can almost be considered two identical battery locomotives with regenerative braking, that are solely responsible for moving the train.

The Trailer Car With Power

The Trailer Car in the middle of the train contains the four generators.

The Wikipedia entry for the Ford Duratorq engine, has a section for a 3.2 litre diesel engine, where this is said.

The 3.2 is an I5 engine used in the Ford Transit, the Ford Ranger, Ford Everest, Mazda BT-50 and the Vivarail D-Train.

The standard engine has a rating of 200 hp or 150 kW.

The Class 230 train would appear to have an installed power of 600 kW.


The article says that everything the passenger will see inside the train is new!


This is a quote from Tristan Guyard of Transport for Wales.

On the Conwy Valley and Wrexham – Bidston routes, ‘230s’ will be quicker than most other new trains built in the UK at the moment. This is because of the high proportion of motored wheels and the use of batteries to provide additional power. When these trains come into service, we will be able to improve journey times and have a more flexible timetable as soon as 2019.

The Conwy Valley Line seems a stiff route, which might get a better service with a more powerful train.

The Wrexham-Bidston route currently takes 56 minutes to go South and 58 minutes to go North, which probably makes timetabling a half-hourly service a difficult job.

Will the Class 230 trains offer enough extra performance for these services?

Perhaps this is why they have four diesel power packs.

We will find out next year, what is the toughness of these remanufactured London Underground trains!

Thoughts On The Traction System

How Does The Power Compare To Other Trains?

How powerful is the 600 kW in the Class 230 train?

By comparison. a two-car Class 156 train, has 860 kW of diesel power.

On the other hand the three-car Class 230 train has regenerative braking using batteries.

Is The Class 230 Train A Serial Hybrid?

In a serial hybrid vehicle, a power source like a diesel engine charges the battery and the battery drives the vehicle and powers internal systems.

The classic serial hybrid vehicle is a New Routemaster bus, which is powered by a 138 kW diesel engine.

In this bus., the engine starts and stops to keep the energy in the battery within a particular range.

It is a very simple control system and is regularly used in many applications, where water or temperature levels are to be kept within range.

The layout of the Class 230 train with a central power car could easily provide power to the batteries in the two Driving cars.

The train’s control system would switch the engines on and off automatically as required.

If two diesel generators supplied the battery in each Driving Car, the train could even be considered a double serial hybrid.

So this should make the train reliable, as most components of the drive-train are duplicated.


I sometimes feel that the Class 230 train could end up as a heroic design failure.

But then the oldest trains in service on the UK’s rail network are the London Underground 1938 Stock on the Island Line.

London Underground rolling stock seems to have a longevity, that other trains seem to have been built without!

Or is it that as the elderly fleets of the Glasgow Subway, Merseyrail and the Northern City Line seem to keep soldiering on, that spending a large proportion of your working life underground, is good for trains?


July 5, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] wrote about these trains in First D-Train With Transport for Wales In March 2019, where I stated that the train formation will […]

    Pingback by Class 230 Trains On The Conwy Valley Line « The Anonymous Widower | July 24, 2018 | Reply

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