TransPennine Express announces £230m fleet investment
23 May 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Intercity rail operator TransPennine Express has announced a £230 million investment for a new fleet of CAF Electric Multiple Units (EMU) and loco-hauled coaches for delivery in 2018-19.
The TransPennine Express (TPE) investment will see the introduction of two new fleets. The first will comprise of 12 five-carriage Civity UK InterCity electric trains supplied by Spanish manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF). The new vehicles, worth £120 million, will be financed by Eversholt Rail. The trains will enter service between Manchester and Liverpool to Glasgow and Edinburgh in 2019.
New TransPennine Express CAF electric multiple-units to enter service in 2019
The second ordered fleet includes 13 sets of CAF five-car loco-hauled coaches financed by Beacon Rail and leased from Direct Rail Services (DRS). The carriages will operate initially between Liverpool and Newcastle and hauled by Class 68 engines.
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 vast majority of services will operate with at least five carriages as opposed to the current three.
CAF will provide technical support and spares for both fleets. Maintenance will be undertaken by Alstom at its facilities at Longsight (Manchester), Edge Hill (Liverpool) and Polmadie (Glasgow).
“We are delighted to have concluded the deals that will bring much needed and much wanted extra carriages across our network”
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.
“Whether travelling to work, for business or leisure, our services are going to offer more seats, improved connectivity and a higher standard of comfort. The on-board experience will be second to none and we will provide customers with a real alternative to the car and congested road network.”
Once in service, TPE fleet will feature Wi-Fi and media servers allowing customers to stream TV shows, films and entertainment, 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 the journey times between key towns and cities across the region.
Antonio Campos, CAF, S.A. International Commercial Director for Western Europe said: “I am delighted to work with FirstGroup to provide new modern and comfortable trains for the North of England. This is a fantastic opportunity for CAF to strengthen its presence in this region and consolidate its position as one of the leading manufacturers of trains for the UK market. We are delighted to have our total product range such as the Sleepers, Coaches, EMUs, DMUs and Trams operating throughout the UK rail network.”
Mary Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of Eversholt Rail Group, said: “Eversholt Rail is delighted to be supporting this expansion of the TransPennine Express network by investing £120m in its new fleet of CAF Civity trains. These trains will bring major improvements for passengers on services between Manchester and Scotland. We look forward to working closely with our partners to introduce the new fleet into service over the next three years.”
Ted Gaffney, Chief Executive Officer of Beacon, said: “Beacon is very pleased to provide a locomotive hauled coach solution to TransPennine Express. This transaction is in line with our strategy, growth ambitions, and our commitment to providing state of the art rolling stock to the UK market.”
Today’s announcement follows an earlier agreement to buy 19 new five-carriage bi-mode AT300 trains (capable of operating by diesel and electric power) trains from Hitachi Rail Europe.