Introducing the new Class 230

A train for today and tomorrow

Flexible interior layout

From crowd-busting commuter services to tourists with bikes or families with buggies.

Able to run as a DMU, EMU, battery

Or battery hybrid depending on the power supplies available.

Welcome to Vivarail

Designers and manufacturers of the ground-breaking Class 230: a train for today and tomorrow.


“delivering local rail solutions”

Vivarail Class 230 3 Car

A Modular train

It is able to run as a DMU, EMU, battery or battery hybrid depending on the power supplies available.


Power specification

It can change or upgrade from its original power specification with a minimum amount of effort.


Interior layout

Its interior layout can be tailored from crowd-busting commuter services to tourists with bikes or families with buggies.



It is practically maintenance free requiring only infrequent returns to a main depot.


Remote monitoring

Its remote condition monitoring systems both analyse performance and warn if problems occur.


Highest quality

It has been built using the highest quality systems and materials from a trusted team of suppliers.

Vivarail delivering local rail solutions

Simplicity of operation and ease of maintenance were key drivers in the engine’s modular design.


Powerpack modules are housed beneath the train, two on each driving car, each pack has an Engine and a Genset to power the motors on the bogies. Routine maintenance for oil or filters is easily undertaken by:

  • Disconnecting the fuel and air hoses
  • Unhooking the safety catches
  • Lifting out with a pallet truck

The whole operation takes ten minutes and can be carried out using a concrete pad by the side of the track. Combined with the train’s state-of-the-art remote condition monitoring system and AC motors, both routine and unforeseen maintenance needs are cut down considerably.

Vivarail delivering local rail solutions

As a D78 the train was electrically powered by a third rail. The original Vivarail concept was to provide the electrical power using a diesel engine, thus creating a DEMU. However the train does not mind where the supply originates. Third rail, overhead lines, batteries or even power packs: the train can draw the required current from any of these sources. With a light bodyshell the Class 230 is perfect for new power technologies.

And its modular design means it is easy to change when needed. For lines due for future electrification, a DMU could be prepared for change to an EMU. Where features, such as tunnels, make full line electrification uneconomic the train could operate as an EMU/battery hybrid.

This patented system allows alternative power packs to be used in the future as technology develops.

Vivarail delivering local rail solutions

“Seen it. Travelled in it. Like it. It’s no ‘cast off’ – where it counts it’s a new train. It deserves to do well.”

Nigel Harris

Rail Magazine

Fascinating visit to Vivarail, I have no doubt they will be successful”

Alex Hynes

MD, Northern Rail

“The trains look promising: cheaper than new, interiors can be configured in a number of ways to suit need different markets, are diesel powered so could fill in gaps while electric wires are put up and designed to be easy to maintain. Often passengers think refurbished trains are actually new – they can feel like it.”

Anthony Smith

Chief Executive, Transport Focus

“Fascinating trip to Vivarail today for launch of the innovative D-train – a great concept, cutting costs & carbon”

David Horne

MD, Virgin East Coast

“Initially sceptical about Vivarail’s D-Train concept – now I’ve seen & ridden on prototype I’m convinced it’s viable”

Toby Rackcliff

West Midlands ITA

Vivarail News

Modern Railways interview with Adrian

Thanks to Philip Sherratt who came to see us and has produced a great article for the October edition of Modern Railways. In advance a little taster of the feature:

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