The first of West Midlands Railways new Class 196 trains due arrive in 2020.

West Midlands Railway has shared the first glimpse of the new state-of-the-art trains which will arrive in the region next year.

A total of 26 diesel trains, known as Class 196s have been ordered as part of the company’s £800m investment in the region’s railway network.

The trains, which are being built in two-car and four-car formations will come with air conditioning, WiFi and power sockets and will be used to increase capacity on the busy Hereford – Birmingham line.

A total of 80 carriages will be built with the first batch currently under construction in Europe at CAF. The carriages are due to arrive in the UK in Spring, with the remaining trains being manufactured at a purpose-built facility in South Wales.

All units will undergo testing in the UK and in Europe before entering passenger service in the second half of 2020.

Jane Fisher, transition and projects director for West Midlands Railway, said: “The popularity of rail travel in the West Midlands is continuing to grow at a rapid rate, which is why we have pledged to invest £800m to help us keep up with demand.

“It is exciting to see that this investment is starting to come to fruition with our new Class 196 trains entering the track-testing stage before they begin arriving in the UK next year.

“These smart, modern trains will boost capacity on our network and come with features such as under-floor heating and extra luggage space which I am certain will prove popular with passengers.”