TransPennine Express has launched its new ‘Nova’ fleet of trains in a ceremony at Liverpool’s Lime Street Station.
Stakeholders and dignitaries from across the north were present at the event as the trains were unveiled to the public, accompanied by entertainment from a local brass band and speeches from those involved in the £500 million project.
Leo Goodwin, managing director of TransPennine Express, outlined the benefit the new fleet will bring to the north.
“He said: “Our vision was for Nova to represent the brightest future for rail in the north and we are so pleased to today make this vision a reality for customers, colleagues and businesses who make the TransPennine Express network such a crucial part of our infrastructure here in Liverpool and across the north.”
The new 44-train fleet was built by CAF and Hitachi and financed by Beacon Rail Leasing, Eversholt Rail Group and Angel Trains.
Each train offers between 286-342 seats and five carriages.
Nova 1 serves Liverpool to Newcastle and Edinburgh to Manchester Airport and Newcastle, Nova 2 travels between Manchester and Liverpool to Glasgow and Edinburgh via Preston, and Nova 3 moves between Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.
Goodwin added: “The name Nova reflects the positive changes that will truly transform rail travel for our customers, with an enhancement to customers experience on board and an increase in capacity of 80 per cent on all routes.
“Our vision at TPE is to take the north further and these new trains offer more seats, improved connectivity and a higher standard of comfort.”
Andrew Barr, Hitachi Rail Group chief executive, said: “The new Nova 1 fleet will nearly double the number of seats available to passengers – up to a whopping 161 extra per train.
“These modern intercity trains – built incorporating bullet train technology – will make journeys across the North smoother and more reliable.
“Delivering the Hitachi fleet on time will allow passengers to have an early Christmas present, with trains that are proven to boost passenger satisfaction.”