Maintenance problems force TransPennine Express to cancel services

TransPennine Express is cancelling trains in the new December timetable, due to the late delivery of its new fleets.

The operator announced that owing to a maintenance backlog and infrastructure issues which it claims have caused delays in crew training, services on its new Liverpool Lime Street-Edinburgh route will be amended.

This route is welcoming new CAF Class 397 five-car electric multiple units. They are replacing four-car Class 350/4s, which started moving to West Midlands Railway from the end of November.

A TPE spokesman told RAIL that the infrastructure issues related to various problems on both the East and West Coast Main Lines, both of which have been blocked in recent weeks due to flooding and overhead wire problems. This has affected driver training of electric-powered trains.

“Unfortunately, it’s not just services in passenger use that get affected when the infrastructure goes down, although Network Rail acted swiftly in all cases to get customers on the move again,” he said.

With the maintenance backlog, this is mainly down to the Class 802/2s being unable to return to their Doncaster base for required maintenance, because of a lack of available crews.

TPE’s spokesman said: “There’s not just one cause for this, but a mixture - including requirement for crew training and having Class 802s in service.”All 44 new trains ordered for TPE have been delivered to the UK, comprising 12 Class 397s, 13 rakes of CAF Mk 5A coaches and 19 Hitachi Class 802 bi-mode units (RAIL 893). It is planned that 20 will be in traffic from the December timetable change (mainly ‘802s’).

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 894, published December 18, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle now.
  • For the FULL story on the launch of the new Nova trains, read RAIL 893, available digitally. 


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