TransPennine Express (TPE) is pushing ahead with the purchase of a further 126 brand new carriages.
Under the terms of its new franchise agreement FirstGroup’s expanded TPE will deliver an investment of more than £230 million in 25 brand new five-car
trains which will be in service by 2019. The announcement follows an earlier agreement to buy 19 new five-car bi-modal trains from Hitachi Rail Europe. The new train fleets will provide an extra 13 million seats a year.
The two new fleets, comprise 12 five-car Civity UK InterCity electric trains financed by Eversholt Rail and 13 sets of five-car InterCity carriages financed by Beacon Rail Leasing. The Civity UK InterCity electric trains will link Manchester and Liverpool with Glasgow and Edinburgh whilst the InterCity carriages will operate initially between Liverpool and Newcastle.
In total, 44 new trains will supplement TPE’s current fleet. Most services will operate with at least five carriages as opposed to the current three.
Liam Robinson, chair of Rail North Ltd, said, ‘To support long-term economic growth and prosperity, the North needs a modern, high-quality rail service connecting as towns and cities.
‘We need a lot more capacity with new routes and additional journey opportunities, seven days a week. Passengers want an end to overcrowding and an improved travel experience. This commitment from TPE to introduce another, much needed, 25 brand new trains will help to deliver on these requirements.’
Spanish manufacturer, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF), will build both the new EMU trains and the loco- hauled carriages. No UK manufacturer took part in the competitive tender process. The bi-mode AT300 trains will be built in County Durham by Hitachi Rail Europe. TPE will
use Class 68 diesel locomotives to haul the new InterCity carriages between Liverpool and Newcastle, owned by Beacon Rail and leased from Direct Rail Services (DRS).