Latest Rail News

10.03.17

First bodyshell completed by CAF for new TPE fleet

Pictures of the first bodyshell for new rolling stock to be used by TransPennine Express (TPE) have been unveiled as the operator looks to introduce 13 five-car Mark 5A Coaches – being built by Spanish company CAF – as part of its brand-new fleet.

A total of 66 shell are currently being built, and the carriages are set to enter service in 2018 to run between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.

The carriages will be pulled by Class 68 locomotives owned by Beacon Rail, leased by Direct Rail services and are being maintained at Alstom’s facilities at Longsight in Manchester.

The high-tech carriages will improve the travelling experience for customers by being more spacious with 291 seats, a 40% uplift from the rolling stock that they are replacing, providing better comfort and free Wi-Fi, plug sockets, USB ports and even an on-board media server for passengers to stream TV and film.

TPE’s procurement of the carriages came last year after a process where no British company submitted a bid for the contract. It came shortly after Arriva also appointed CAF to build 281 new carriages to replace the unpopular Pacer trains on the Northern franchise.

TPE’s managing director Leo Goodwin said: “It’s great that our plans are now becoming reality and I want customers in the north to know that our new trains plus more seats are on the way.

“These spacious carriages will contain brilliant new features that will really benefit customers and the on-board experience will be completely reimagined. Soon, customers will be able to travel in style on brand new, state-of the art trains.”

CAF already provide trains for operators across Europe and is also building new coaches for Serco Caledonian Sleeper Ltd.

Alongside the Mark 5A coaches, CAF is also building 12 five-car Class 397 electric trains for TPE, while Hitachi Rail Europe has been appointed to deliver 19 five-car Class 802 bi-mode trains to be added to the fleet.

The overall upgrade to TPE’s fleet is expected to provide 20,000 extra peak seats per day as it adds 13 million seats into its timetable by 2019. TPE will invest more than £500m between 2018 and 2020 into the three new fleets for its services across the north and Scotland.

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Comments

Huguenot   10/03/2017 at 10:49

No, the loco and carriages will not replace the Class 350s, which cannot operate east of Manchester. They will replace some of the Class 185 diesels. Whilst loco haulage is welcomed, their speed will be limited to 100mph which will take up valuable capacity on the otherwise 125mph ECML.

Chris M   10/03/2017 at 12:00

The class 185s they will replace are also 100mph limited and these manage perfectly well on the ECML. They however only have 168 seats, so the new trains will offer far more seats and the welcome elimination of noise and vibration from underfloor engines. The new carriages are designed for and fully capable of 125mph - so if the government ever manages to electrify from Stalybridge to Colton Jcn these CAF mk5s could be hauled by 125mph electric locos/powercars,

Andrew Gwilt   10/03/2017 at 13:21

With CAF also to build the Class 397's. That means that Class 350/4's that could be used on the Manchester Victoria/Piccadilly-Blackpool via Preston service once the electrification is finished as the Class 397's will be working on the Glasgow Central-Manchester Piccadilly/Victoria-Manchester Airport service that the TPE Class 350/4's already operates between Glasgow Central and Manchester Airport. And with the new Hitachi Class 802 IEP's also to be built for TPE would also operate on the Manchester Piccadilly-York/Scarborough/Hull routes and other routes that the Class 802's would operate on both electric and diesel. Same with Hull Trains that are also to order the Class 802's to replace the Class 180's on the London King's Cross-Hull route and to allow Grand Central to use the Class 180's on the London KX-Bradford and Leeds service.

Scott Lawrence   12/03/2017 at 13:52

My issue is why are these carriages not being built in the UK.

David   12/03/2017 at 21:46

Because no manufacturers with UK facilities made a bid for the contract. CAF's deal was considered affordable because it piggybacked off the sleeper coaches.

J, Leicester   13/03/2017 at 15:11

What's the weight like on a typical Mk 5 carriage compared to, say, a Mk. 3? Presumably we won't have another Nightstar situation on our hands where well-meaning inclusion of too much new technology makes the rolling stock too heavy to cope with the rigors of service and reduces the financial feasibility of operation? I only ask because of the gradient-filled nature of the trans-Pennine route. Then again, a modern loco like a 68 should in theory have plenty of power to lug 5 coaches of any weight up and over, say, the Hope Valley. Put this down as the ramblings of a nitpicker. I'm all for more loco-hauled stock and want to see this tender be the first of many, but I hope CAF's products are practical enough to warrant further roll-out.

David   16/03/2017 at 00:10

J, the Class 68+Mk5 formations won't operate the Hope Valley Line, as this will be remain the domain of the Class 185s, hopefully in semi-permanent pairs.

Paul   16/03/2017 at 07:46

It seems somewhat short of windows... I don't know if this is the standard for all the carriages or just this one but 5 short windows and a little half window for a carriage of this length seems to suggest lots of passengers will not have a view

Splinter   19/03/2017 at 16:12

A total of 66 shell will be ....... But 13 5-coach sets =65. Is it buy 65, get one free?

David   19/03/2017 at 19:30

"Splinter", I believe there will be one spare driving trailer built.

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