Train at a UK rail station

Faults lead to withdrawal of Northern's new fleet

In 2019 Northern announced a £500 million investment in new trains, which the company said would "mark a step-change for rail travel in the north of England." Now it has had to make the decision to withdraw 24 of its new electric (Class 331) and diesel (Class 195) trains due to a problem discovered with their shock absorbers, designed to prevent swaying in the carriages.

On Friday a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Transport Committee will hear what modifications will be required to deal with the fault, which is likely to take "several months."

A spokesperson for Northern said: “A fault has been identified on some of the new fleet of trains built by CAF (Spanish company) and operated by Northern.

“The remaining 78 trains in Northern’s CAF fleet have been fully checked and are operating as normal.

"The units still in passenger service will be regularly checked as part of the ongoing engineering process.

“While the root cause of the problem has not yet been fully established, we continue to work closely with CAF to resolve the issue. As part of this work CAF and Northern have developed an interim modification which, once fully tested, will enable the entire fleet to return to customer service.

"Work is ongoing to design a permanent modification that can be applied to all CAF trains operated by Northern.”

A new timetable will be rolled out on Sunday May 16, which will reflect the decision to remove trains from service - with replacement bus services likely on one route.

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