A NEW train has been named in honour of a world-famous former Herefordshire man.

West Midlands Railway has named one of its newest trains in honour of the region’s most famous composer as the operator prepares to roll out the new fleet onto its Hereford Line.

The train, 'Sir Edward Elgar', was formally named during a special ceremony at Worcester Shrub Hill railway station on March 24. It is one of 26 trains in WMR’s new Class 196 fleet which is being introduced as part of the operator’s £690m investment in new trains and infrastructure.

Hereford Times:

The first trains in the fleet entered service between Birmingham and Shrewsbury in October. Now, after a period of route testing and driver training, the trains are due to begin carrying passengers between Hereford, Worcester, Bromsgrove and Birmingham for the first time next month.


The operator said the new fleet offers more seats and tables with improved under-seat storage, improved accessibility, including at least one accessible toilet per train, more bicycle storage, clear luggage racks to avoid passengers leaving items behind, smart new digital screens featuring live journey information, plug and USB sockets at every seat, intelligent air-conditioning which reacts to the carriage environment, and free WiFi.

Tom Painter, executive director 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 brand new trains.

Hereford Times:

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

Sir Edward Elgar is one of Britain’s best-known composers whose world-famous works include the Pomp and Circumstance Marches and Enigma Variations.

He was born in the village of Lower Broadheath, near Worcester, in 1857, and lived at Plas Gwyn in Hereford's Hampton Park Road, from 1904 to 1912.