Not long now until all our new trains launch in to service!

You might find some answers to your questions below...

Below is a list of handy FAQs about our new trains...

  • What is the new model of train?

    We are introducing 10 four-carriage Class 350 Desiro trains, which are electric multiple units (EMUs) designed and constructed by Siemens.

  • Who is making the new trains?

    Siemens have been selected through a competitive tender process to design, build and maintain the new trains.

  • How much will the new trains cost?

    The new trains will cost in excess of £60m. This investment will enable us to develop and improve our services and the experience for customers.

  • Who buys / owns the trains?

    We do not own either the new, or our current, trains. New trains are purchased by Rolling Stock leasing companies with financial assurances given by the Government and/or train operators. We will pick up the responsibilities for the additional costs associated with new trains through our lease payments.

  • What are the benefits of these new trains?

    The new trains will have more seats, will provide quicker journeys and will importantly free up the rest of the current fleet to provide more capacity and higher frequency services across our network.

  • How big are the new trains?

    The length of a new four carriage train will be just over 80 metres. The new trains will be four carriages long and will have 210 seats per unit. They are bigger than the class 185s, which have 3 carriages and 181 seats. The class 185 trains are the trains that run on most of our routes and services at present.

  • How many people can travel on the new trains?

    Each new train will be able to seat 210 passengers, 19 of which will be in first class. The new trains will also have dedicated spaces for wheelchairs and bicycles.

  • How many toilets will be on board?

    Our new trains will each have three toilets on board including one universal toilet. Many of the new trains will run in double formation (8 carriages) and therefore six toilets will be available on our busiest services between Manchester and Scotland. We don't want you to be caught short!

  • Will there be a first class area?

    Yes, the new trains will come with a first class area that is comparable to our current first class section on the class 185 trains. There will be 19 seats available on each train in first class.

  • Will there be space for luggage?

    The new trains will provide a rail link between Manchester Airport and Scotland and as such they will be designed to accommodate sufficient luggage space for those travelling to and from their holiday and/or business trip. There will be 25% more luggage space on the new trains than the class 185s currently serving this route.

  • Will there be cycle storage?

    There is dedicated cycle storage position within the new trains that will be designed to carry 2 cycles per four carriages. Cycle space is limited to maximise the number of seats and luggage racks within the train. We are working with a number of partners to improve cycling facilities at stations to give more options to cyclists travelling with FTPE.

  • Is the new train environmentally friendly?

    Electric trains are more environmentally friendly than their diesel counterparts as they emit significantly less CO2 per passenger kilometre. The electric trains will also emit fewer air and noise emissions. The route between Manchester Airport and Scotland will be fully electrified by 2013 and we are expecting a carbon reduction of approximately 30% per passenger on this route as a result. Not all parts of the TransPennine rail network have been electrified meaning that our diesel units will be deployed onto other busy routes on our network.

  • What will the trains look like inside?

    FTPE believes that the design and comfort of the current Class 185 trains has proved popular and successful. The new trains will have a mixture of airline seats and table seats. You can view a 3D fly through of a computer generated class 350/4 by clicking here.

  • What’s the difference between the current trains and the new trains?

    The main difference is that the new trains will be powered by overhead cables as opposed to diesel. The class 350s will also operate with four carriages as opposed to three carriages with 210 seats compared to 181. There will be a number of bespoke layout changes that will improve facilities for passengers, including the location of the first class area, improved luggage storage and additional toilet facilities.

  • Where will the new trains be used?

    The new trains will run on the electrified route between Manchester Airport and Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow) on the FTPE North West Route.

  • How quick will the new trains be?

    The new trains will be able to travel at speeds up to 100mph where the track and line permit. As such journey times are expected to be at least 3 minutes quicker between Manchester and Scotland and intermediate stations. The trains have a faster acceleration to 100mph than the current class 185s. We are working with Siemens and Network Rail to enable the trains to operate at 110mph in the future. We hope to achieve this by May 2014.

  • Why won’t the trains be running on my route?

    Not the entire rail network is electrified and certain routes require a diesel train to operate services on. The route between Manchester Airport and Scotland will be fully electrified by the end of 2013. The displaced class 185s will all remain with TransPennine Express to enhance capacity and provide additional services on our other routes.

  • Who is maintaining the trains?

    The new trains when delivered will be maintained by Siemens, who will be designing and building them. The 10 new Class 350s will be maintained at our current train depot in Ardwick, Manchester.

  • Are the trains reliable?

    Yes, London Midland currently operates a fleet of class 350 trains and they are recognised for being one of the most reliable fleets operating in the UK. Siemens are recognised as a train manufacture that achieves high reliability ratings with all its trains. FTPE currently operates 51 class 185 diesel trains which were designed, built and now maintained by Siemens. The class 185 are one of the most reliable diesel fleets operating in the UK and we expect the new trains to be at least 3 times more reliable than this.

  • Is it going to be more expensive to travel on the new trains?

    No, fares will be the same whichever type of train you travel on.  The increased capacity will actually mean more Advance Purchase tickets will be for sale, offering customers greater choice and access to our Great Value fare.

  • Does anything have to happen with the track?

    Network rail are currently electrifying 30 kilometres of the network to allow for the new electric trains between Manchester Airport and Scotland to operate by late 2013 as well as electrifying Ardwick depot to accommodate them. These changes will all be completed by the May 14 timetable change.

  • Are you going to stop calling at certain stations?

    We have worked with local stakeholders and passenger representative groups to develop our timetable proposals as new trains are introduced. This has included extensive dialogue with Department for Transport, Transport for Greater Manchester, local councils and line of route MPs. Unfortunately, our services between Manchester Airport and Scotland will no longer be able to operate via Bolton and Chorley. These services will however additionally call at Wigan. We are working with Northern Rail to provide best possible combined timetable for routes through Bolton and further improvements will be provided once electrification through Bolton is completed in 2016. Timetables for December 2013 will be published in September and we are continuing to consult our plans for the major change in May 2014.

  • Will there be catering on board?

    FTPE currently provides catering on all services between Manchester Airport and Scotland. This commitment will continue when the new trains arrive in late 2013.

  • Are there going to be any changes to the timetable?

    Timetable development is constantly being assessed to provide customers with the best choice of travel options. The new trains will provide additional opportunities for this and we will ensure that the current level of service is both maintained and where possible improved upon. The additional capacity provided by the deployment of the class 185s will allow for the introduction of a new direct service between Liverpool and Newcastle. The faster acceleration of the class 350s and line speed improvements along the network will also contribute to some changes to the timetable which will improve the service FTPE can offer.

  • I don’t live on the Manchester to Scotland route – how will I benefit?

    The current class 185s and class 170 trains will be redeployed to the rest of the FTPE network. This will mean that more seats, longer trains and more frequent services may be available from late 2013. From May 2014 we will be providing 5 trains an hour between Manchester and Leeds (in both directions), strengthening many services and reducing the number of 2 carriages services significantly. We will also be introducing a new Liverpool to Newcastle direct service.

    Journey times on some routes will be reduced for example;

    • Leeds to Manchester will be 5 minutes quicker
    • Manchester to Liverpool will be 15 minutes quicker
    • Newcastle to Liverpool will be 43 minutes quicker
  • Are there going to be any future job opportunities?

    The railway has proven to benefit the economy as it has been developed and improved. Since we signed the order for new trains in early 2012 we have created nearly 200 additional jobs either directly with FTPE or through our industry partners. The new trains will provide an annual £10m benefit to the north of England.

  • Where can I find more information?

    We will look to provide more detailed information via this site in the future.

  • Is ten trains enough – it is really busy – why can’t you buy more?

    Train travel is more popular than ever before and certain trains are very busy at peak times. The provision of ten new trains will definitely help to improve capacity. We hope that our fleet can be expanded further to cope with increasing demand. There will be opportunities to do this created by the electrification of other parts of our network over the next few years.

  • When will the new trains be in service?

    The new trains are currently being built in Germany and are expected on the TPE network between the end of December 2013 and March 2014. During this time the units will arrive at the Ardwick depot in Manchester and will be introduced gradually into the timetable when commissioned. All ten new trains will be fully operational by May 2014.

  • What happens to the existing fleet?

    FTPE currently has a fleet of 51 class 185s and 9 class 170s. All of these trains will be retained by the FTPE franchise meaning that extra capacity and longer trains will be available from the end of 2013 on all FTPE routes. From May 2014, FTPE will be introducing a new direct hourly service from Liverpool - Newcastle which will increase the number of trains between Manchester - Leeds up to 5 trains per hour. Other displaced class 185s will be used to provide additional capacity on our existing services.


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