New trains in Lancashire '˜to cut overcrowding'

TransPennine Express has unveiled a preview of its new fleet of modern trains.

Artist's impression of the new TransPennine Express service
Artist's impression of the new TransPennine Express service

The new fleet – which will be running in the North West from spring 2019 – forms part of TransPennine’s overall £500million investment programme.

A spokesman for the train firm said: “Customers will benefit from a transformed on-board experience which includes comfortable seating, plugs and USB points, more luggage space, fast free Wi-Fi and an entertainment system enabling the latest films, news and boxsets to be downloaded straight to phones and devices.

“Each train will also feature display screens that provide real time reservations and new catering facilities tasty hot food and cold drinks to be served on-board.

“The 12 five carriage trains are being introduced along with two other fleets and together these will deliver 13 million more seats per year for customers giving an 80 per cent increase into the North’s five largest cities at the busiest times of day.”

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The Blackpool/Preston to Manchester TransPennine service regularly tops the lists of the country’s most overcrowded trains, and commuters have also complained about old and substandard trains. The company’s existing trains are also being upgraded.

The new trains are being manufactured by Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles in Spain and owned by Eversholt Rail.

They will be maintained by at Alstom’s facilities at Manchester and Polmadie.

Leo Goodwin, managing director for TransPennine Express said: “This is an exciting step towards providing brand new, state-of-the-art trains plus more seats for rail customers across the North and into Scotland.

“Once ready, these futuristic trains will be some of the most modern in the country and I’m thrilled to be overseeing such an important transformation.”