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Today, the first of 66 body shells for 13-five carriage Mark 5A Coaches will enter into production with the first one set to be delivered in 2018.
Each train will contain 287 seats and will operate on the company’s North route which runs between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, York and Scarborough as well as Newcastle. From 2019, the trains will also run to and from Middlesbrough.
Each high quality train will feature comfortable seating, free Wi-Fi, plug sockets at every pair of seats, real-time travel information and an on-board media server, allowing the streaming of the latest TV shows and films.
An electronic seat reservation system will also be installed, making it much easier for customers to identify whether a seat is free, partially reserved or occupied.
The new carriages will be built by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in Beasain, Spain and financed by Beacon Rail. They will be pulled by Class 68 locomotives which will also be owned by Beacon Rail, leased by Direct Rail Services and maintained by Alstom at its facilities at Longsight (Manchester) and Edge Hill (Liverpool).
Between 2018 and 2020, TPE will introduce three new train fleets, comprising of 13 five carriage Mark 5A coaches and 12 five carriage Class 397 ‘Civity’ electric trains, built by CAF and 19 five carriage Class 802 bi-mode trains which will be built in County Durham by Hitachi Rail Europe.
TPE will deliver an investment of more than £500m over the next three and half years in 44 brand new, state of the art trains which will create 13 million extra seats across the North and into Scotland.
TPE’s Managing Director, Leo Goodwin said:
“I’m thrilled to announce that the first of our new trains has now entered production, marking an important milestone in transforming rail travel across the North.
“These new, modern trains will mean major improvements for customers that will really make a difference to the overall journey experience.”