First TransPennine Express (FTPE) is today announcing that a multi million pound order for a new fleet of trains has been agreed.
FTPE will take delivery of 10 new build electric trains from manufacturer Siemens and is expecting the first train to arrive at the end of 2013.
The new 100mph, Class 350/4 trains will each have four carriages and a total of 210 seats, 19 of which will be first class. Design work is progressing to deliver a capability of 110mph operation.
Based upon the highly successful Class 350's that are currently in operation on the London Midland network, the FTPE vehicles will have additional luggage space, a catering trolley area and bike storage facilities. Seating in both first and standard class will be similar to the design and layout of FTPE's current fleet of well regarded Class 185 trains.
The new Class 350/4's will be used on services between Manchester and Scotland and customers will benefit from an increase in capacity of more than 80 per cent on this route. This new fleet also allows the redeployment of FTPE's existing trains to increase capacity across FTPE's other routes, including the busy Manchester to Leeds route where capacity is planned to increase by over a third.
Nick Donovan, FTPE's Managing Director said;
"This is really good news for customers across our network. We know that many of our services are busy and the procurement of an additional 40 carriages will help to provide a much needed increase in seating capacity in response to growing customer demand.
"I am also really pleased that this project will create about 200 new jobs across the North of England, including drivers, conductors and train maintenance staff."
FTPE will retain its 51 class 185 and 9 class 170 trains, which will be deployed to offer more seats across the North.
Electric trains, such as the new Class 350s have a reduced carbon footprint of around 20-35 per cent compared to their diesel trains counterparts.
The trains will have wheelchair access, three on board toilets and state of the art CCTV and customer information systems.
The purchase of the new trains will generate around 200 additional jobs, many directly with FTPE with the opening of new train crew depots in Liverpool and Preston. The delivery of the new trains and related infrastructure improvements will also provide a wider economic benefit of £10m per year in the North and better connections between northern cities.
The procurement process for FTPE's new trains has been led by train operator London Midland as part of a larger order for train build and maintenance valued at over £140m. FTPE will lease the trains from rolling stock leasing company Angel Trains.