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      New train named after composer Sir Edward Elgar

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Mar 24, 2023

      The new Elgar train
      The new Elgar train

      West Midlands Railway (WMR) unveiled the train at a special ceremony honoring the region’s most famous composer, as the operator expands the deployment of its Hereford Line’s new fleet, which covers Shropshire, Worcestershire and Birmingham.

      The train is among 26 in its new Class 196 fleet, which is part of a £690m investment for the operator.

      The first trains in the fleet entered service between Birmingham and Shrewsbury last October.

      Following driver training and testing programmes, the trains will begin carrying passengers between Hereford, Worcester, Bromsgrove and Birmingham next month.

      West Midlands Railway managing director Ian McConnell said: “I am delighted with our passengers, they will soon be traveling on these new trains.

      “This fleet provides a greatly enhanced passenger experience, including intelligent air conditioning that adapts to the transportation environment and power outlets at every seat.

      “Communities are at the heart of our business and the fact that our colleagues have chosen to name one of the trains that will serve this new route after an iconic local figure is proof of that.”

      Tom Painter, chief executive of West Midlands Rail Executive, said: “As a local resident and regular user of the line between Worcester, Hereford and Birmingham, I am delighted to see the introduction of these new trains.

      “With all their modern features, they will offer customers a travel experience worthy of this beautiful and historic part of central England and the Welsh Marches.”

      West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said rail services were vital to support the future prosperity of the region.

      Elgar’s world-famous works include the Pomp and Circumstance Marches and the Enigma Variations. An ardent Wolverhampton Wanderers supporter, he cycled to games from his home in Worcester and wrote what is believed to be the first world soccer anthem, He Banged The Leather For Goal.


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