Testing of the TransPennine Express Mk 5a coaches begins this autumn at the Velim test track in the Czech Republic.
The vehicles, owned by Beacon Rail, are being built by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) in Beasain, northern Spain.
Thirteen rakes of five coaches are on order. They will be operated in push-pull mode, with Class 68s hired from Direct Rail Services providing power. TPE told RAIL on January 31 that the first bodyshell was nearing completion.
The operator added that its finalised route options for the locomotive-hauled operations were still being developed, but confirmed that the final deployment would be between Manchester Airport/Liverpool Lime Street and Scarborough/Middlesbrough.