TfW trains stock

We see in March that TfW are running their new long distance trains class 197s on test and training runs between Crewe and Shrewsbury. This is very welcome. It was announced that the first 30 units of the fleet have been approved for passenger service by the Office of Rail and Road. There are a total of 77 units on order.  The 14 units with first class seating are not included in the first batch.

All this is very welcome news, but we should not get too excited. It is unlikely that we will see these units on our services in the very near future. Where ever they are used, we will benefit in that TfW will have more rolling stock available. They continue to be crippled by breakdowns in the usual class 175 units and the general ageing of the class 150s.

We also see reports that TfW have reserved more type 67 locomotives to push-pull mk4 coaches on “selected” services from Cardiff to Manchester. This replicates the Cardiff Holyhead premium services. We don’t know to which services this applies, but it doesn’t take much working out that it will be aimed at the commuter market. We also hear that some platforms on our route need modification. The plan is to start this service in December.

And what about the class 175S. These are not in the TfW long term plans, despite the recently completed refurbishment and branding. They are owned by Angel trains, so after TfW have finished with them, it is not for TfW to  decide where they go. There is a shortage of long distance sets, so they will likely find a home elsewhere.


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