Rail franchises operators & contracts

15.04.19

First of CAF’s new Nova fleet accepted by TPE ahead of rollout across north of England

The first of TransPennine Express’s (TPE) Nova 3 fleet has been officially accepted after completing testing with its manufacturer CAF.

The new fleet has been hit by delays due to technical issues and was due to roll out before the end of 2018, but are now expected to enter service “in the coming months” between Liverpool Lime Street and Scarborough and later on the Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service.

TPE said the acceptance of the first Nova 3 train allows it to to begin mobilisation, including training for drivers and conductors, and called it a key milestone for the new trains project.

The 13 new five-carriage trains each have 291 seats on board, 100 more than on the route’s current Class 185 trains, and come with free on-board Wi-Fi and modern display screens.

The train operator said it was delivering an investment of £500m by 2020, including 220 new carriages and 13 million extra seats across the north and into Scotland.

Chris Nutton, major projects director for TransPennine Express 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 new fleet has been manufactured by CAF and financed by Beacon Rail, and will be pulled by Class 68 locomotives also owned by Beacon Rail and maintained at Alstom’s facilities in Manchester.

The fleet was delayed in November because of a technical issue with a key on-board system on the Mark 5A coaches.

 

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