Class 196 fleet

Meet our Class 196 trains

Front / side view of a Class 196 train

Sometimes it’s the little things that can make a big difference, and our Class 196 trains are no exception. We’ve put you, our customers, at the heart of our decisions, which is why we are excited to invite you on board.

So where are they going? Our Class 196 diesel trains headed to Shrewsbury first, followed by the Hereford and Leamington to Nuneaton lines. Good things come to those who wait.

In total 26 brand-new Class 196 trains replaced some of our oldest diesel fleets. Made up of 80 carriages (built in two and four car formations) they have helped us improve capacity by around 25% - so, we hope you’re pleased with the switch!

New 196 features

Video: Join Senior Conductor Sam who takes you on board our Class 196, showing you all the little things that will make a big difference to your journey.

More seats and tables for a more enjoyable journey

Accessible area of the Class 196 train

​More bike storage areas, enabling up to three bikes to be carried

Photo of the accessible toilet of a Class 196 train

At least one accessible toilet on every train

Photo of the underseat storage of a Class 196 train

Improved under-seat luggage space

Photo of the digital informaiton screen for a Class 196 train

Improved digital information screens

Photo of the plug and usb sockets for the Class 196 train

Plug and USB sockets at every seat

Photo of inside the carriage of a Class 196 train

Intelligent air conditioning which reacts to the carriage environment

Photo of a table seat of a Class 196 train

Free WiFi to stay connected and catch up as you go

The journey of our new trains

  • Winter 2017: West Midlands Railway is established and orders from two brand new train fleets are placed
  • 2018: Construction begins of our new Class 196 trains by manufacturer CAF
  • Autumn 2019: The first train is ready to be tested on the famous Velim test track in Eastern Europe
  • Spring 2020: Second phase of production begins in Newport, Wales
  • Summer 2020: With Covid-19 restrictions temporarily eased, our first 196 units begin arriving in the West Midlands
  • Autumn 2020: The first trains in the fleet begin testing on the UK rail network
  • 2021: Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the remaining trains are constructed, and on-track testing continues.
  • Autumn 2022: Training begins for our drivers and senior conductors ready for the first trains to enter service on the Shrewsbury Line
  • Spring 2023: Trains start to arrive on the Hereford/Worcester and Leamington - Nuneaton Lines

196 Train timeline infographic (PDF)

196 fact sheet

Front view of a Class 196 train
Manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF)
Trains in Fleet 26 (14 x 4-car / 12 x 2-car)
Total Carriages 80

Birmingham - Shrewsbury (from 2022)
Birmingham - Hereford (from 2023)
Leamington - Nuneaton (from 2023)

Top Speed 100mph
Fuel Type Diesel
Total Seats 311 (4-car) / 141 (2-car)
Seat Formation 2+2

196 Factsheet (PDF)

196 seating plan

196 seating plan diagram

Familiarise yourself with the 196 seating plan.

196 seating plan (PDF)

Downloadable 196 train wallpapers

A collection of high definition Class 196 wallpapers available for download for free.

Wedge shot #1 (2560 x 1440p) - Download
Wedge shot #2 (2560 x 1440p) - Download
Low angle shot front shot (2560 x 1440p) - Download

Where do the new 196 trains travel to?

Class 196 trains are serving the Birmingham-Shrewsbury Line, Birmingham-Worcester/Hereford Line, and Nuneaton- Leamington Spa Line.

Updated 196 route map

View our destinations