TPE will invest more than £230m in 25 brand new trains which will be in service across the network by 2019.
The new franchise began on 1April with a commitment to invest more than £500m in the rail network and today’s announcement follows an earlier agreement to buy 19 new five-carriage bi-mode (capable of operating by diesel and electric power) trains from northern based manufacturer, Hitachi Rail Europe.
The new train fleets will provide an extra 13m seats a year, enough to fill the Old Trafford stadium more than 150 times.
Today’s agreement will see the introduction of two new fleets, which are 12 five-carriage Civity UK InterCity electric trains financed by Eversholt Rail and 13 sets of five-car InterCity carriages financed by Beacon Rail Leasing.
The Civity UK InterCity electric trains will operate between Manchester and Liverpool to Glasgow and Edinburgh whilst the InterCity carriages will operate initially between Liverpool and Newcastle.
In total, the 44 brand new state of the art trains will supplement TPE’s current fleet and will more than double capacity on all intercity routes across the North and into Scotland, by 2019.
The majority of services will operate with at least five carriages as opposed to the current three.
TPE’s managing director, Leo Goodwin, said: “This is great news for our customers and we are delighted to have concluded the deals that will bring much needed and much wanted extra carriages across our network.
“This will enable us to transform the customer experience over the life of our franchise and our three new train fleets will form a key part of this improvement.”
Investment means every train operated by TPE by will have free Wi-Fi, advanced on-board customer information, modern interior with spacious seating, air conditioning and power sockets at every seat.
The new trains will allow services to operate at speeds of up to 125mph, cutting journey times between key towns and cities.
Councillor Liam Robinson, chair of the Rail North Limited Board said: “To support long-term economic growth and prosperity, the North needs a modern, high-quality rail service connecting towns and cities.
“We need a lot more capacity with new routes and additional journey opportunities, seven days a week. Passengers want an end to overcrowding and an improved travel experience.
“This commitment from TPE to introduce another, much needed, 25 brand new trains will help to deliver on these requirements. The capacity improvement on state of the art, intercity standard trains is exactly what is needed and will help drive the North forward, supporting improved connectivity across the region.”
The bi-mode AT300 trains will be built in County Durham by Hitachi Rail Europe and the new fleets will be delivered during 2018 and 2019.
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