Jam tomorrow – new trains for our line!

With TfW taking over the operation comes a promise of new trains. But its going to be a while and we have to wait. No jam for tea tonight!

All the class 150, 153, and 175 trains are planned to be withdrawn in the period 2022-24 but this is dependant on new trains being delivered and put to work. This sounds easy, nice new train, what could go wrong? But all UK train operators are finding that it does not go well, with combination of late delivery, long driver training programmes, and early life techncial problems all conspire to cause delays of years not months.
But the current plans for us are like this:
TfW have ordered a new fleet of 2 and 3 coach diesel trains from CAF and this will form the back bone of their fleet. CAF are an established Spanish supplier, and they will build the trains in Newport, South Wales. They will be known as class 197. These are very similar to the class 195 trains currently being brought into service for Northern. Hopefully the bugs will have been found in the class before they come to us.

These will replace the 175s on the Manchester – Cardiff services, and are promised in 2023.
The Sprinter 150s and 153s will be replaced with class 170s promised at the same time. These trains were in service with Greater Anglia until late 2019, and are currently in use in South Wales. The new 197s will be used on these services from 2022 and the 170s moved to the HOWL including our daily shuttle.

The 170s are good trains from Bombardier, and are used currently by West Midlands from Shrewsbury to New Street, They are contemporary with 175s from the 1990s. Not new, but good trains and a big upgrade from the 150 and 153s currently commonly used.

So we are going to have to wait. TfW will be refurbishing the 175s and 150/153s. The 175 are being painted and tidied up oin a programme that started last year.


The later two classes are not all compliant with the laws on accessibility. The 150s have a dispensation until 31st July 2020, and the 153 until 31st December 2020. So we shall see some changes on these sets this year. Some repainted 153s have been seen on the HOWL but they have not been reported north of Shrewsbury.

You can read all about TfW plans here. Note this document has been around for a year or so, so regard it as a plan, rather than fact.


You can read about or current trains here:https://caspa.org.uk/about-the-line/trains-between-crewe-shrewsbury/


Print Friendly, PDF & Email