Trains firm Northern gets 75 per cent of its new trains on track across Lancashire

Train operator Northern said it has now got 75 per cent of its new trains on track in the North.

Wednesday, 19th February 2020, 11:45 am

The firm Arriva Rail North, which will lose its franchise on March 1 after years of late and cancelled trains on services across the region including Blackpool, particularly on Sundays, had itself been hit by delays in getting the new trains from the manufacturer in Spain.

But now it said nine additional new trains were launched on the network this week, meaning that 75 of the 101 trains ordered from CAF are now carrying Northern customers – travelling to more than 140 stations across the region.

The introduction of the new trains – a £500m investment in rail in the north of England – began last summer and, since the launch of the first one, more than five million passenger journeys have been made on the Class 195 and Class 331 trains.

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One of the new CAF built trains in service with Northern

The new trains, being new technology, have also been hit with teething troubles but the company says they are now "as reliable as Northern’s existing fleet."

Chris Burchell, managing director of Arriva Rail UK, said: “I am delighted that our ambitious new trains project is 75 per cent complete, and we are on schedule to have all 101 trains in service by May this year.

“The new trains are truly transformational and it’s great that more than five million journeys have already been made on Northern in more comfort and with more state-of-the-art technology than ever before.

"I want to acknowledge the team and colleagues at Northern who have worked expertly and professionally – in sometimes challenging circumstances – to get us to this point.

“It is not easy to introduce brand new trains and there is a tremendous amount of unseen work and preparation in the background.

The new trains feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, at-seat power and customer information/media screens with real-time information. They are also more spacious and fully accessible, with spaces for wheelchairs and cycles.