Great Western Railway is to hand back all 19 Class 769/9 tri-mode ’Flex’ multiple-units to Porterbrook at the end of their current lease agreement in April 2023, after concluding there was no likelihood of them entering service in the short-term. The decision follows significant investment in the project by both the Department for Transport and Porterbrook.
The GWR sets were the third variant of the Class 769 concept. Transport for Wales has eight ‘769s’ which operate in diesel mode only, although it intends to withdraw these in the coming months, while Northern has eight bi-mode sets which operate on AC overhead and diesel power. Both fleets have faced reliability issues.