British Rail Class 730

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British Rail Class 730 Aventra
Bombardier Aventra Class 730 EMU.jpg
Class 730 unit 730002 undergoing testing at Walsall in March 2021
In servicePlanned for 2022–2023[1][2]
Built atDerby Litchurch Lane Works
Family nameAventra
Number under construction71[1][2]
Number built10[3]
  • 3 cars per 730/0 unit:
  • DM-PMLW-DM[4]
  • 5 cars per 730/1 and /2 unit
  • 730/0 units:[4]
  • EL2490A (DM vehicles)
  • ER2500A (PMLW vehicles)
Fleet numbers
  • 730001–730036
  • 730101–730129
  • 730201–730216
Operator(s)West Midlands Railway
  • Double-leaf sliding plug
  • (2 per side per car)
Maximum speed
  • 3-car: 90 mph (145 km/h)
  • 5-car: 110 mph (177 km/h)
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead
Current collector(s)Pantograph
BogiesBombardier Flexx-Eco
Safety system(s)
Coupling systemDellner
Multiple workingWithin class
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 730 Aventra[6] is a type of electric multiple unit train designed by Bombardier Transportation and built by Alstom for West Midlands Trains. Two separate batches of the fleet will be built; 36 three-car units are intended to be operated on West Midlands Railway's suburban services, primarily the Cross-City Line, and 45 five-car units are intended to be operated on London Northwestern Railway's suburban and long-distance services.[7]


In October 2017, West Midlands Trains were awarded the franchise to operate both local rail services around Birmingham and the West Midlands, suburban services to London Euston, and long-distance inter-urban services operating from both Euston and Birmingham New Street.[8] At the time the franchise was awarded, the company announced that it would procure more than 100 new trains at a cost of £680m[9] to replace older rolling stock and enhance its fleet. Of these, a total of 81 EMUs were ordered from Bombardier Transportation from its Aventra product range.[10] They are being built at Derby Litchurch Lane Works.[7] The first completed train was unveiled in September 2020.[9]

Testing and introduction into service[edit]

The Class 730 was tested in Velim in the Czech Republic, as well as in the UK.[11] They will enter service in 2022[1] and will be the second new West Midlands Railway fleet to be introduced, with first being the Class 196.[12] The introduction of these trains will allow the Class 323s to be withdrawn[1] with 17 sets being cascaded to Northern Trains.[13] It will also ensure the withdrawal of the Class 350/2 units on the West Midlands Trains network.

Testing of Class 730 units on the West Midlands Trains network began in March 2021,[14] and in February 2022 the 36 Class 730/0 units received authorisation for service from the Office of Rail and Road.[4]


The two separate batches will be constructed to operate at different maximum speeds to suit different uses. The three-car Class 730/0 trains - designed for Cross-City Line inner suburban services - will operate at up to 90 mph (140 km/h)[9] and will double capacity on the Cross City Line. The five-car Class 730/1 and 730/2 trains - designed for outer suburban services and long-distance services respectively - will operate at up to 110 mph (180 km/h).[7][9]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Unit Unit nos.
Class 730/0 West Midlands Trains 36 2021–present 3 730001–730036
Class 730/1 29 5 730101–730129
Class 730/2 16 730201–730216
Class 730 3-car unit


  1. ^ a b c d "Class 730 Fleet". West Midlands Railway. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Class 730 fleet | LNR | London Northwestern Railway". Retrieved 30 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Class 700 - Class 730 | UK Rail Log". Retrieved 1 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b c Fletcher, Steve (2 February 2022). "THE RAILWAYS (INTEROPERABILITY) REGULATIONS 2011, AS AMENDED - AUTHORISATION OF CLASS 730/0 - UNIT NUMBERS (INCLUSIVE) 730001 TO 730036" (PDF). Letter to Paul Carter (Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd d.b.a Alstom). Office of Rail and Road. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  5. ^ "Proposed state-of-the art train depot to bring over 100 new jobs to West Midlands". West Midlands Trains. 29 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  6. ^ Clinnick, Richard (11 September 2018). "Bombardier Class 345s roll off the production line". Rail. No. 860. p. 29.
  7. ^ a b c Fender, Keith; Sheratt, Philip (June 2018). "West Midlands prepares for new fleets". Modern Railways. Vol. 75, no. 837. p. 78.
  8. ^ Jones, Tamlyn. "Over 100 new trains West Midlands trains – with wi-fi and speeds up to 110mph". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "Class 730 EMU for Birmingham's Cross-City Line revealed". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Bombardier and CAF win West Midlands train contracts". Railway Gazette International. 28 May 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Aventra for WMT on Test at Velim".
  12. ^ "New British train fleets to enter service two years late". International Railway Journal. 9 November 2021. Retrieved 10 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Class 323 EMUs to remain in traffic with Northern". Rail. No. 886. 28 August 2019. p. 30.
  14. ^ "New 'Aventra' train pays a visit to Redditch as it builds up the miles". Redditch Standard. Retrieved 30 June 2021.