Vivarail aim to refurbish 75 old London Underground trains in the next two to four years to respond to increasing demand for rolling stock.
The trains will use the bodyshells, bogies, and motors from old D78 metro stock from London Underground. Vivarail will then convert the stock from electrical to diesel, refurbish them, and fit them with a new traction system and control electonics.
Vivarail’s upcycled trains will be produced at a fraction of the cost of most new rolling stock, as well as having excellent green credentials. By reusing high-standard, second-hand equipment, Vivarail are able to cut back massively on costs, emissions, fuel consumption and energy use in the construction process.
As well as the costs and energy saved through the upcycling of high quality used parts, D-trains will also be the first passenger trains in the UK to use a motor that cuts the engine while idling, using less fuel and creating fewer emissions. The relatively light weight of the carriages further reduces energy consumption, as well as track wear.
Vivarail are the first to undertake such a project in the UK. The success of their prototype suggests that this innovative project is set to create big waves in the coming months.