Locomotive-hauled trains returned to the Pennines on August 24, when TransPennine Express finally put the first of its Class 68-hauled CAF Mk 5As into passenger traffic.
TPE has ordered 44 new trains, in a £500 million scheme designed to significantly boost capacity on its routes across the North.
Almost a year after they were due to enter traffic, the first train was the 0555 Manchester Victoria-Liverpool Lime Street, powered by TPE 68027 Splendid.
TPE used TP09, one of four rakes of Mk 5As so far accepted for traffic. The set contained Open First (FO) 11509, Open Standard (TSO) 12725-727 and Driving Trailer Standard (DTS) 12809.
The rest of its duty was planned to be the 0656, 1356 Liverpool-Scarborough, 1041, 1744 return and 2056 Liverpool-Stalybridge. However, on the first day this was curtailed after the second departure from Scarborough due to concerns with fuel levels on the ‘68’.
For the FULL story, read RAIL 887, published on September 11, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from September 7.