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New West Midlands trains to replace 20-year-old fleet

A new fleet of trains has been unveiled by West Midlands Railway. The 26 trains, which will run between Shrewsbury and Birmingham, replace the current 20-year-old fleet. The new carriages have 25% more capacity, easy access for all passengers, on board wi-fi and power supplies for all seats. It is part of a £690m investment which will also see 81 electric trains rolled out from early next year along with upgrades to infrastructure and depots. John Doughty, engineering director for West Midlands Trains, said it was exciting to be updating the fleet and was also good news for customers. “It’s a real improvement in customer environment as well as as an increase in capacity,” he said

“It’s a modern piece of rolling stock. There’s a lot of technology in there in terms of maintenance and diagnostics which will help us deliver a more reliable service. “There’s lot of enhanced safety features on the train so it’s something that will give a real, noticeable benefit for our customers.”

Bradley Beaumont who uses a wheelchair and has hearing aids said he had been helping test out the trains for people with additional needs. He said there was more space and better access in the new trains. “They are very smooth, very quiet and it’s been a pleasure to work on them,” he said. “It makes me quite proud to be able to make that change and make travel that bit easier and a bit safer for everyone else, knowing that these will be around for a long time.”

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