Class 196 fleet

Despite the pandemic we’re expecting during 2022, we’ll be saying goodbye to some of our oldest diesel trains.

We will then be able to welcome the first of our brand-new diesel trains to our fleet – the Class 196.  These 26 brand-new trains will strengthen our existing fleet. Made up of 80 carriages, being built in two and four car formations.

Helping to improve our railway capacity by around 25% - more carriages mean more room for you to get on and travel to wherever you need to go.

The first trains head straight for the Shrewsbury and Telford, followed by the Hereford and Worcester line.

New features

These new spacious trains will provide a more comfortable journey by giving you:

  • More seats and tables with improved under seat storage
  • Improved accessibility
  • Increased bike storage areas, enabling up to three bikes to be carried
  • At least one accessible toilet on every train
  • Clear luggage racks so you won’t leave anything behind
  • New digital information screens that let you know what station is next and what other public transport connections there are available:
  • Charge on the go with the new plug and USB sockets at every seat
  • Enjoy a more comfortable ride with our intelligent air-conditioning system that reacts to the environment in the carriage
  • Free WiFi to stay connected and catch up as you go.


What's next?

The first trains have been built in Spain with the majority being built here in the UK. Once everything is finished from a testing point of view, and after all our training is completed, then we will be launching this fleet into passenger service.

This all takes time, and we are working hard to make sure they get into service swiftly.

The first trains head straight for the Hereford and Worcester lines, followed by Shrewsbury and Telford. You'll also see a few on the Snow Hill lines as they top-up the existing fleet to give more space.

Class 196 Route Map

As part of the programme to introduce our new trains, we need to extend platforms across station sites on the Shrewsbury to Birmingham line to make way for longer trains with more seats. This means we need to make some of our station platforms a bit longer to accommodate them.

The stations that need these extensions along this route are:

  • Oakengates
  • Albrighton
  • Bilbrook

These station improvements will begin on:

  • Weekends starting from 27th November 2021 until 19th December 2021 between 23:00hrs and 06:00hrs, this will be for preparatory works.
  • The majority of construction work will take place from 22.30hrs on 24th December 2021 to 04.30hrs on 27th December 2021.

These essential works will prepare our stations for new trains which once they come into service will improve the future train service for local people.