As the last hours of 2013 ticked away the first of a new fleet of First TransPennine Express Desiros entered revenue-earning service.
The maiden voyage of the new Siemens-built Class 350/4 Manchester – Glasgow service on 30th December marked the start of an eventual increase in capacity of more than 80 per cent on the route between Manchester Airport, Wigan, Preston, Carlisle, Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central.
The new trains can run at speeds of 110 mph and can accelerate faster than diesel trains. The new trains signify the successful completion of Network Rail’s phase one delivery of its £400m North West electrification programme.
FTPE is delivering a £60m investment in new rolling stock. A further nine Desiros will be introduced on the electrified route between Manchester Airport Edinburgh and Glasgow, with all ten new trains being fully operational by May 2014.