Underground trains may be heading north

Independent rolling stock provider Vivarail Ltd is to acquire surplus London Transport District Line trains and convert them to diesel traction.  Underfloor engines will be installed. The company says the re-manufactured units will provide a low cost alternative to building new stock to replace the ageing and unpopular Pacer and Sprinter units  running on many provincial lines.

The surplus District stock dates from 1978: Vivarail will utilise the aluminium bodyshells, as well as the modernised bogies and motors. The trains would run in two, three, or four car sets, and will be internally refurbished to provide a wide range of seating requirements. Vivarail says they will meet the latest EU emissions standards and have lower fuel consumption than existing trains.

A London Transport D78 train at Wimbledon on the District Line.
A London Transport D78 train at Wimbledon on the District Line.

“We have now contracted with London Underground Ltd to purchase a large number of D78 cars, and detailed development of the engines and control systems is well in hand,” says Marketing Director, Allan Dare. “Our design work for the vehicle interiors has also progressed greatly, to give trains that fully meet the PRM-TSI 2020 standards. Our ‘D-trains’ will give more capacity, greater comfort and better acceleration than the Pacers and Sprinters now in service.

“We anticipate that the prototype train will be completed and running on our test track next June, and that the production series will be available from December 2015.”

662/Dec 14

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