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This milestone forms the next step towards the delivery of brand new, high quality train carriages for customers in the North in what will be one of the most modern train fleets in the country.
Customers will begin to see the 13, five carriage trains running between Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Scarborough and Middlesbrough from 2018.
These, along with the other new trains being delivered by TPE will provide 20,000 extra peak seats per day (that’s the amount of seats inside the O2 Arena in London) giving an 80 per cent increase into five largest cities across the North.
Each, high quality 291 seat train will contain exciting features that will transform the customer experience, from spacious, comfortable seating to free Wi-Fi, plug sockets, USB ports, improved information systems and an on-board media server for streaming TV shows and films. Each train will also be fitted with a catering area, allowing hot snacks to be served on board.
TPE will deliver an investment of more than £500million over the next three years in three new train fleets which will mean 13 million extra seats across the North and into Scotland, enough to fill the Old Trafford Stadium more than 150 times!
TPE’s Managing Director, Leo Goodwin said: “It’s great that our plans are now becoming reality and I want customers in the North to know that our new trains plus more seats are on the way.
“These spacious carriages will contain brilliant new features that will really benefit customers and the on-board experience will be completely reimagined. Soon, customers will be able to travel in style on brand new, state-of the art trains.
The new carriages are being built by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in 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 at Alstom’s facilities at Longsight (Manchester).
The three fleets will comprise of:
13 five carriage Mark 5A Coaches – built by CAF in Spain
12 five carriage Class 397 electric trains – built by CAF in Spain
19 five carriage Class 802 bi-mode trains – built by Hitachi Rail Europe in County Durham, England