The first of TransPennine Express’s (TPE) new fleet of Nova 3 trains, which will initially come into service in the coming months between Liverpool Lime Street and Scarborough, has now completed testing and been accepted from manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) after it completed its fault free running.
This will allow TPE to begin training drivers and conductors ahead of the new train’s introduction into service later this year.
Each five-car train has 291 seats, compared to 181 on the current Class 185 trains operated on the route, as well as more luggage space, plug and USB charging points, free on-board Wi-Fi in both standard and first class and an entertainment system, Exstream, featuring the latest TV shows, news and films.
TPE has ordered 13 five-car sets of coaches, each comprising one first-class car, three standard class and a standard-class driving trailer. Trains will be hauled by Class 68 locomotives, leased from Direct Rail Services and maintained at Alstom’s Longsight depot in Manchester. Both the new sets of coaches and the Class 68 locomotives are owned by Beacon Rail.
TransPennine Express major projects director Chris Nutton said: “This is a key milestone in our new trains project, which will allow us to bring in these fantastic trains in the coming months.
“Although there have been a few bumps on the way, it’s brilliant that our plan is now coming together and our customers will be able to travel in comfort on modern trains with more seats later this year.”
The Nova 3 fleet, which will be introduced onto the Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service once it is established on the Liverpool to Scarborough route, is part of a larger, £500 million investment by TPE aimed at introducing a total of 220 new carriages and 13 million extra seats across the North and into Scotland by 2020.
The new fleet will also include 12 new five-car Class 397 ‘Nova 2’ electric multiple units, also from CAF, and 19 five-car Hitachi AT300 ‘Nova 1’ Class 802 bi-mode trains. Deliveries of both are expected this year so they can be introduced into service on long-distance routes from 2020.