Futuristic train fleet in the making for TransPennine Express

Posted: 22 December 2017 | | No comments yet

TransPennine Express customers are a step closer to experiencing brand new, high quality trains as Hitachi begins work on an intercity fleet to start service in 2019…

Futuristic train fleet in the making for TransPennine Express

Hitachi commences work on the third fleet being built for TransPennine Express; totalling an extra 13 million extra seats per year. The new intercity trains will connect Northern England and Scotland with 19 new five carriage trains containing Japanese bullet train technology.

Production work has begun on two test trains in Japan which will arrive in the UK in 2018. The trains will be maintained at Hitachi’s newly built £80 million depot in Doncaster, home to 250 employees and four apprentices. Investment in the trains and new depot come alongside the Great North Rail Project, which will upgrade key parts of the route to enable better services.

David Hoggarth, Rail North Director, said: “These trains are game-changers. Fast efficient travel on trains fit for purpose will open up rail to new users in the business and leisure sector and is one of the key components required for growing the Northern economy through enhanced connectivity.”

As well as connecting North of England and Scotland the fleet will run from Manchester and Liverpool, across the iconic Pennines to cities such as Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The trains will provide 161 additional seats compared to existing trains and passengers will benefit from spacious carriages, extra legroom and additional luggage space. Each new train will offer fast, free Wi-Fi in both Standard and First Class as well as a complimentary on-board entertainment system, Exstream, allowing customers to stream the latest movies and TV shows during their journey.

Berry Sas, Hitachi Rail Europe Projects Director, said: “Millions of journeys along the popular transpennine route will be transformed once these pioneering intercity trains are introduced into service.”

Hitachi’s Japanese-bullet train technology will make the new fleet light and aerodynamic. The 19 trains will all be hybrid, meaning they can switch seamlessly mid-journey between electric and diesel power. The trains, able to run in either five or ten carriage formation, are capable of speeds of up to 140mph in electric mode and 125mph using diesel engines.

By using modern MTU engines from Rolls-Royce, the trains will cut harmful emissions under diesel power by up to 90 per cent.