Published on : Friday, December 29, 2017
Production work has begun on two test trains in Japan which will arrive in the UK next year.
The modern Japanese bullet train inspired fleet is being built by Hitachi and financed by Angel Trains.
The trains will be maintained at Hitachi’s newly built £80million depot in Doncaster, home to 250 employees and four apprentices. Long-term jobs will also be secured at existing depots in Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh, which all play a role in maintaining the trains.
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.
Modern trains for iconic Pennines route
From 2019 this fleet will connect major cities in the North of England and Scotland and 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 the existing trains on the popular intercity route. Customers will benefit from spacious carriages, providing extra legroom and additional luggage space.
Each new train will offer fast, free Wi-Fi in both Standard and First Class as well as complimentary on-board entertainment system, Exstream, allowing customers to stream the latest movies and TV shows during their journey.
Lighter and greener hybrid trains
Hitachi is using its famous Japanese-bullet train technology to 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 125 mph using diesel engines.
By using modern MTU engines from Rolls-Royce, the trains will cut harmful emissions under diesel power by up to 90%.
David Hoggarth, Director for Rail North, 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, This is great news for the North and demonstrates that visionary franchise agreements can really deliver.”
Berry Sas, Projects Director for Hitachi Rail Europe said:
“Millions of journeys along the popular transpennine route will be transformed once these pioneering intercity trains are introduced into service.
“We have invested £80million in a state-of-the-art depot in Doncaster to ensure these new trains are running in top condition for each and every journey.”
TransPennine Express Managing Director Leo Goodwin said: “The construction of our third, brand new fleet of trains is tremendously exciting news for customers.
“Once in service in 2019, these will be some of the most advanced trains in the UK and coupled with the other new trains we are having built, will provide an additional 13million seats a year.
“We are committed to supporting the northern economy and are pleased that the fleet, which will be maintained at locations across the north and in Scotland will be supporting 250 long-term jobs”
Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains said:
“We are delighted that work has begun on these modern, efficient and fast trains, moving Angel Trains a step closer to the delivery of this fleet. Once delivered in 2019, hundreds of thousands of TransPennine Express passengers throughout the franchise period will enjoy a transformed northern inter-city travel experience. This will include a reliable, WIFI-enabled service, delivering travellers quickly and seamlessly to their destination, regardless of whether the route is electrified or unelectrified.
By procuring, financing and leasing these new bi-mode trains, Angel Trains has demonstrated its commitment to both northern investment and providing value to customers, bringing improved travel and more jobs to the region.
We have already invested over £5.0 billion in the UK rail industry and, working with our partners in the industry, we look forward to continuing to make further significant investments in rolling stock in future.”
The new fleet of Hitachi intercity trains (Class 802) were ordered by FirstGroup for TransPennine Express in 2016.
The trains will be built across Hitachi’s global manufacturing sites.
The first two trains to be built in Japan are test trains (802201 & 802202). Testing in the UK will begin in summer 2018 ahead of the trains entering passenger service in December 2019.