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COVER STORY: 125mph trains ordered for TransPennine operations

An artist's impression of First TransPennine Express AT300s at Manchester Piccadilly. FTPE.

Nineteen five-car bi-mode trains were ordered ahead of the new TransPennine Express franchise that started on April 1.

Built by Hitachi Rail Europe, they will be 125mph trains (with 140mph capability) and come from the same AT300 family as the Class 802s ordered for Great Western Railway last year.

The majority will be assembled at Newton Aycliffe and will enter traffic from December 2019. Angel Trains will finance them. They will offer 161 more seats per train than TPE’s current Class 185 fleet, and be fitted with free WiFi.

The trains will be maintained at Hitachi Rail Europe’s Doncaster Carr and Craigentinny facilities, with overnight stabling and servicing carried out at Edge Hill, Heaton and York.

TPE will run the franchise until at least 2023. The previous franchise, which began in 2004, was operated by FirstGroup (as majority owner) and Keolis.

“These trains will be able to run at speeds of 125mph, but they also have the capability of running at 140mph if the network allows for it in the future,” said TPE Managing Director Leo Goodwin.

“These speeds will reduce journey times across our network, bringing our great towns and cities in the North closer together.”

  • For much more on this, including reports of what the remaining 25 new trains could be, read RAIL 798, published today (April 13).

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 13/04/2016 10:21

    The Class 802 bi-mode trains that are to be built for Transpennine Express will replace the Class 185's on routes between Manchester-Leeds-Hull and between Manchester-Leeds-York and other routes whilst Class 185's would be used on York-Harrogate and Leeds-Harrogate, York-Scarborough and Hull-Scarborough routes.

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    • BigTone - 02/05/2016 22:39

      With 19 dual mode units being built, that means there will be 25 straight electric units which I think will be too many for the WCML duties. When the TransPennine North electrification is complete, some electrics will be on this route with the dual modes so eventually the 185 s will be only on the TransPennine South route (Hope Valley). But then again, if demand is too high there is nothing to say they coulldnt hang on to some more 185s

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  • David C S Bartlett - 14/04/2016 21:55

    I do find it frustrating that 'Rail' magazine persists in using non-metric measures for speed especially, but also for distance or for anything else. Given the vague and confusing proposals for 'HS3' which might or might not consist of a T-shaped piece of the High Speed system, on which we are familiar with trains proposed to run at - say - 330kph, then I like to readily make comparison with other train speeds or with continental practice.

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    • FrankH - 16/04/2016 00:36

      Reason being I suspect is that speeds here are measured in mph, distance by miles. KPH is only quoted when coming from the information given by the train bulider. To rough convert kph - mph divide by 10 and multiply by 6, so 330kph =33 = 198 mph.

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  • Marjorie - 25/04/2016 15:53

    A better rule of thumb is divide by 8 and multiply by 5. That is 0.625, which is only 0.6% away from the true conversion factor of 0.621371. Divide by 10 and multiply by 6 is 0.6, which is 3.4% away from the true conversion factor. To those of you who love imperial measures and plan voting for Brexit: the British Empire died in 1947! Imperial measures should have died very soon thereafter... The marketing name for class 91+ Mk.4 coaches was InterCity 225, where 225 kph was the performance capability of that train. That of course equates to 140 mph, which Railtrack hoped to achieve on WCML and ECML.

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    • BigTone - 02/05/2016 22:23

      What has the British Empire got to do with anything?

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  • Liberal Progressive - 01/05/2016 11:07

    My generation of young, forward looking and internationally aware progressives have never known the days of the British Empire and can use metric and imperial interchangeably. I'll be voting for Brexit so the UK can take back control of our transport planning policy from Brussels and make our own mind up on projects such as HS2 etc. and not have them centrally imposed from a backwards, Soviet-style system whose ideals and purpose are well passed their use-by date.

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