West Midlands Trains is aiming to introduce its first three-car Class 730 EMU, built by Alstom, into passenger service in the early autumn.
WMT has ordered 48x3-car and 36x5-car ‘730s’ from Alstom, financed by Corelink Rail Infrastructure. The three-car units are being built first – although they have been ordered for services in the West Midlands area, they will be deployed first on peak services into and out of Euston, running in six-car formations and replacing Class 319s, WMT’s oldest EMUs. This also eases the training burden – WMT is still completing training of crews in the West Midlands on its Class 196 DMUs.
Each three-car ‘730/0’, with a maximum speed of 90mph, has 199 seats in a primarily 2+2 layout but with some areas of 1+1 seating. With 24-metre vehicles, a three-car ‘730’ offers a similar capacity to a four-car ‘319’ or ‘350’ with shorter 20-metre vehicles. WMT sent two ‘319s’ off lease on 30 June, leaving seven units to cover three diagrams for pairs of units until the ‘730s’ displace them.
Of the 48 three-car u