Riviera Trains

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Riviera Trains Limited
Founded 1996
Headquarters Crewe, United Kingdom
Subsidiaries Pathfinder Tours
Website www.riviera-trains.co.uk
47805, previously one of Riviera's fleet of Class 47 locomotives, arrives at March

Riviera Trains Limited is a railway spot-hire company, based at Crewe in Cheshire. It owns a large fleet of Class 47 locomotives, which have been hired to both passenger and charter train operators. One of their main customers was Arriva Trains Wales, which used locomotives to haul Manchester to Holyhead services until February 2005. The fleet is also used to haul "Foot-ex" specials as well as other Riviera Requirements.

Riviera hires to Train Operating Companies such as Arriva Trains Wales, Direct Rail Services, Great Western Railway, FirstGBRf, First ScotRail, EWS, Freightliner, Grand Central, Serco Rail and Virgin Trains.

Riviera supplied Virgin Cross-Country with a "stand-by" train set made up of Mark 2F vehicles. This contracted ended when Arriva took over the franchise.

Riviera also hire to rail tour customers who include: The Branch Line Society, Compass Tours, Kingfisher Railtours, Past Time Rail, Pathfinder Tours 2006, SRPS, The Railway Touring Company and UK Railtours.

In 2006 the company acquired Pathfinder Tours.


One of Riviera's locomotives, 47839, was the first to be painted in the Oxford Blue livery. Most of the fleet retained the livery of their previous operators until late-2006. 47805, 47843 & 47848 received the Riviera touch of Oxford Blue in 2006 leaving 47812 painted in BR Two Tone Green in late November 2005 to match its sister no. 47815.

In September 2006, all operational Class 47 locomotives, with the exception of nos. 47769 and 47815, were due to be hired to Direct Rail Services for a period of one year. However this turned out to be just over 4 months hauling flask trains. In May 2007 Riviera bought another locomotive - class 47747. This locomotive has since been sold to DRS, along with 47805, 47839 and 47853. 47769 and 47829 have also been sold to HNRC, with 08507 and 08704 moving the other way in exchange for 47769 in 2013. Another locomotive acquired by Riviera, 47575, was scrapped in 2010, offering a spares pool for the remainder of the fleet.

In April 2014, 47843 was the first of the remaining Riviera Class 47's to be hired out to GB Railfreight. 47815, 47812, 47847 and 47848 have since followed (in this order), with the final loco, 47848, due to enter traffic during March 2015. These five remaining Riviera Class 47's are now maintained by the Harry Needle Railroad Company, based at Barrow Hill in Derbyshire.

Coaching stock[edit]

Riviera has one of the largest fleet of vehicles for spot hire and charter work in the UK, rivaling that of West Coast Railways. They can create up to 7 charter train sets and several sets for TOC work. They are now one of the leading providers of charter trains to the railtour industry and Train Operating Companies.

The Company launched a rake of Mark 2F coaching stock early in 2006, called "The Great Briton". All the coaches are in the livery of Oxford Blue and Cream, which were hand painted to high standards at LNWR Crewe. The eight coaches are named after famous Britons, such as Shakespeare and Churchill and feature hand painted Union Jacks on each side of the coaches which is very distinctive. In January 2007 "The Great Brition" luxury Pullman train set took over the operation of the 'Blue Pullman' for Hertfordshire Railtours, formally part of Victa Westlink Rail.

On 11 April 2008 Riviera launched a rake of British Rail Mark 1 coaching stock named "The Royal Scot". This set has had over £500,000 spent on refurbishing and repainting each vehicle to high standards.

Charter Alliance[edit]

On 12 March 2007, EWS Network and Riviera Trains announced the formation of Charter Alliance as "a dedicated provider of reliable and high class specialist passenger rail services". Charter Alliance was to start operations on 1 April 2007, with four charter trains for football fans being the first ones operated by the new alliance.[1] EWS Network provided itself charter trains and operates the Royal Train.

Fleet details[edit]

Key: In service Under repair

Number Class Name Livery Year Acquired Former Operator Status
08507 08 - Oxford Blue 2013 ex-Harry Needle Railroad Company Operational
08704 08 - BR Green 2013 ex-Harry Needle Railroad Company Operational
08780 08 - Oxford Blue 2003 ex-First Great Western Operational
47812 47 - BR Two Tone Green 2005 ex-Porterbrook Operational
47815 47 Great Western Oxford Blue 2005 ex-Porterbrook Operational
47843 47 Vulcan Oxford Blue 2005 ex-Porterbrook Operational
47847 47 - BR Blue Large Logo 2005 ex-Porterbrook Operational
47848 47 Titan Star Oxford Blue 2005 ex-Porterbrook Operational

Past fleet[edit]

Key: Withdrawn Sold for further use

Number Class Name Livery Year Acquired Former Operator Status
37383 37 - Mainline Freight Blue 2000 ex-EWS Scrapped
47575 47 - Rail Express Parcels 2004 ex-EWS Scrapped in 2010
47705 47 Guy Fawkes LNWR Black 1997 ex-Waterman Rail Sold to Porterbrook in 2002, and converted to 57303
47747 47 - EWS 2007 ex-EWS Sold to Direct Rail Services in 2011
47769 47 Resolve Virgin CrossCountry 2004 ex-Porterbrook Sold to Harry Needle Railroad Company in 2013
47805 47 - Oxford Blue 2005 ex-Porterbrook Sold to Direct Rail Services in 2011
47829 47 - British Transport Police 2005 ex-Porterbrook Sold to Harry Needle Railroad Company, 2007
47839 47 Pegasus Oxford Blue 2002 ex-Porterbrook Sold to Direct Rail Services in 2011
47853 47 Rail Express XP64 Blue/Red 2002 ex-Porterbrook Sold to Direct Rail Services in 2011


  1. ^ Press release "Charter Alliance launched for quality specialist passenger rail services" [1]

External links[edit]