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).