British Rail Class 196

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British Rail Class 196 Civity
Class 196 101 at Malvern Link.jpg
196101 on test at Malvern Link in July 2020
In serviceFrom 2021
Built atNewport, Wales (final assembly)
Family nameCivity
ReplacedClass 153
Class 170
Number under construction19
Number built7
Formation12 x 2-car units
14 x 4-car units
Fleet numbers196001–196012
Operator(s)West Midlands Trains
Line(s) servedBirmingham New Street to Hereford/Shrewsbury
Maximum speed100 mph (160 km/h)
Prime mover(s)One per car, Rolls-Royce MTU 6H1800R85L[2] 13-litre 6-cylinder turbo-Diesel
Power output523 hp (390 kW) per engine[2]
Multiple workingWithin class
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 196 Civity is a class of diesel multiple unit being constructed for West Midlands Trains by Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF. A total of 26 units are to be built; twelve two-car units and fourteen four-car units.[3]

The trains will enter service in 2021. They will be the first train of the Civity family to feature end gangways.


Shortly after the announcement that a consortium of Abellio, Mitsui and JR East had been awarded the West Midlands franchise, West Midlands Trains confirmed they had placed an order for 26 diesel multiple units based on CAF's Civity platform.[4]

The first completed unit started testing at the Velim railway test circuit in December 2019.[5]

The first vehicle from 196101 arrived at Tyseley TMD in Birmingham on 17 April 2020, having travelled by ship from Cuxhaven to Hull.[6]


West Midlands Trains[edit]

West Midlands Trains plan to replace their fleet of 23 Class 170/5 & 170/6 Turbostar and the 8 Class 153 units, which operate on West Midlands Railway services, with 26 Class 196 units. The Class 153 units will either be off-leased or transfer to Transport for Wales to cover for delays with their new rolling stock, whilst the Class 170s will move to East Midlands Railway so as to replace the Class 153, 156 and 158s in its regional services, with the exception of the centre cars of the Class 170/6 units being transferred to CrossCountry to lengthen their Class 170/5s.[7] These units will be run on Birmingham to Shrewsbury via Telford services, Birmingham to Hereford services, with appearances on the Snow Hill Lines (Dorridge & Stratford-upon-Avon to Worcester) on occasion.[8]

Fleet details[edit]

196101 passes the old site of Henwick Halt
Class Operator Number Year Built Cars Unit nos.
Class 196/0 West Midlands Trains 12 2019–20 2 196001–012
Class 196/1 14 4 196101–114
West Midlands Trains Class 196/0
West Midlands Trains Class 196/1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Moore, Kyle. "Video: First glimpse of brand new West Midlands Railway trains". Birmingham Updates. Birmingham Updates. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b Vosman, Quintus (13 January 2020). "New British fleets undergo testing in Velim". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  3. ^ Fender, Keith; Sheratt, Philip (June 2018). "West Midlands prepares for new fleets". Modern Railways. 75 (837): 78.
  4. ^ Briginshaw, David. "New West Midlands franchise orders 107 trains". International Railway Journal. International Railway Journal. Retrieved 27 May 2018.
  5. ^ ″West Midlands Trains reveals first Class 196 DMU″. Rail Business UK, 18 December 2019
  6. ^ "First brand new CAF train delivered to West Midlands Trains". Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  7. ^ Milner, Chris (June 2019). "West Midlands Class 196 DMU construction underway". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 165 no. 1, 419. Horncastle: Mortons Media. p. 104. ISSN 0033-8923.
  8. ^ "Class 196 Fleet | West Midlands Railway". Retrieved 2020-09-19.