A Year with Our Nova Trains: A Look Back On 2020

Thursday 14th January 2021
If you made a journey with us during 2020, you may have noticed something a little different about our trains. 

Yep, we’re talking about our incredible Nova trains which launched at the end of 2019. In fact, November 2020 marked the one year anniversary of these shiny new trains being introduced on our network. With a name inspired by exciting new beginnings and positive transformations, our Nova trains have not only helped us revolutionise the TransPennine Express travel experience, but also ensured our services are now better, bigger and more efficient than ever. 

To celebrate Nova’s recent birthday, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on what makes these trains so special and why you should be excited to travel on our network again once restrictions are lifted.

TransPennine Express train at a station

So, what’s so great about our Nova trains?

While our services already offered plenty of perks to passengers, our state-of-the-art Nova trains take things to a whole new level. Their many amazing features include: 

More seats 
Our Nova trains have been designed to maximise the space in each carriage, meaning there are more seats to get comfy in than ever before. They’re also longer with five carriages and have a dedicated First Class carriage, meaning once social distancing restrictions ease, we’ll offer more First Class capacity than ever before. 

More tables 
Bagging a table seat your top priority when you travel by train? You’re in luck. Not only do our Nova trains have more tables, they’re also bigger.  

Plenty of plug sockets 
Our new Nova trains boast plug sockets and USB points at every pair of seats in Standard and every single seat in First Class. This means there’s no need to panic if your devices run out of juice midway through your journey.

Free Wi-Fi 
Our trains feature Wi-Fi in every carriage so you can stay connected with friends, colleagues and family for free whenever you travel.

Complimentary entertainment 
If free Wi-Fi wasn’t enough, our trains also benefit from Exstream. This is our brilliant complimentary onboard entertainment system which gives you access to top TV shows, films and magazines. Simply download the TPExpress App to start streaming whenever you travel with us. 

Extra bike storage 
Want to take your bike on the train with you to use at your destination? Our Nova trains have dedicated storage spaces for up to four bikes so you can cycle to and from the station without worrying about where to leave your bike onboard. Just remember to book a bike reservation before you travel.

Woman wearing mask on a laptop on a TransPennine Express train

All our Nova trains are also regularly maintained to the highest standards. What’s more, with electric and bi-mode (running off both diesel and electricity) trains in the fleet, this makes our services more environmentally friendly. 

Which routes can you travel on the Nova trains?

You’ll spot our new Nova trains arriving and departing from stations across the North of England and Scotland. 

Nova 1 – You’ll find the Nova 1 trains whizzing between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh up the East Coast. 

Nova 2 – Our Nova 2 trains run between Manchester Airport and Liverpool to both Edinburgh and Glasgow up the West Coast.   

Nova 3 – You’ll spot our Nova 3 trains on our Liverpool to Scarborough line. They also operate on routes up to Middlesbrough.

TransPennine Express Train going over a bridge

What our amazing colleagues have to say about the Nova trains

“All 3 Nova trains look absolutely fantastic and the benefits to customers are huge, all three fleets of trains have kept us incredibly busy in the Fleet Team but we are enormously proud when we see our colleagues and customers travelling on them.” - Stacy, Fleet Technical Manager

“As a Driver Assessor I was lucky enough to be involved from a fairly early stage in training on this fleet of new trains. They are wonderful to drive, a real challenge at times and you certainly need to be on top of your game with them. They are really comfortable from a driver’s point of view have great visibility and a lot of power. They are an absolute pleasure and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to drive them.” - Simon, Driver Assessor

“The Nova trains brought about the new standard to expect on our services when they were first introduced over the last two years, and what a journey it’s been. Each of the three new fleets of trains have been strategically designed for maximum usage in their own service areas, and I very much look forward to seeing how this fleet progresses, expands and ever improves in the coming years of the franchise.” - Alex, Acting Customer Communications Manager

TransPennine Express staff member on train platform

Remember to check the current coronavirus government guidelines on travelling on public transport. If you do need to take a journey by train for an essential reason, try to book your tickets in advance, avoid peak times and follow COVID-19 safety procedures onboard.

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