TransPennine Express agrees purchase of 126 new carriages
TransPennine Express (TPE) is to introduce 25 new five-carriage trains costing more than £230m across its network by 2019.

Two new fleets comprising 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, are to be delivered during 2018 and 2019. The agreement is part of a commitment to invest more than £500m in the rail network which was made in April 2016 at the beginning of the new franchise.

The Civity UK InterCity electric trains will operate on the Intercity West Coast services from Manchester to Scotland while the InterCity carriages will operate initially between Liverpool and Newcastle. Both fleets are being manufactured by the Spanish train builder CAF.

This announcement builds on an earlier agreement to buy 19 new five-carriage bi-mode AT300 trains capable of operating by diesel and electric, which will be manufactured at Hitachi Rail Europe’s Newton Aycliffe site.

In total, the 44 brand new state of the art trains will supplement TPE’s current fleet, more than doubling 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.

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 regions.

CAF is to provide technical support and spares for both fleets while maintenance will be undertaken by Alstom at facilities in Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow.

Bombardier’s € 60m supply contract goes to Faiveley
Faiveley Transport has won a contract worth more than €60m to supply braking systems, couplers, cabin HVAC and auxiliary converters to Bombardier Transportation for 355 newly ordered M7 double-decker train cars for SNCB in Belgium.

The 355 cars comprise 65 multifunctional steering cars and 290 trailer cars, and will be built by Bombardier Transportation as part of the Bombardier Transportation – Alstom Consortium.

Many of Faiveley’s European sites will be involved in the project, which includes the study, design, engineering, manufacture and delivery of the rail systems. Deliveries are expected to start in early 2017 and be completed by 2028.

M7 trains will be able to run at speeds of up to 200 km/h, and are designed to operate on all Belgian mainlines, as well as cross border with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, including on some high speed lines.

Japanese Prime Minister visits Hitachi train maintenance centre
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took time out during his visit to the UK to take a tour of Hitachi Rail Europe’s recently refurbished North Pole train maintenance centre in West London. He was accompanies by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

The centre is one of several along the Great Western Main Line that will provide maintenance for new the new InterCity Express trains.

During the tour staff explained the innovative and high quality maintenance regimes that underpin the delivery of the new IEP trains, and exhibited the pre-series test train ‘T58’ currently stationed at North Pole.

The Siemens Class 700 destined for Thameslink is revealed
Thameslink has unveiled its new Siemens Class 700 train during an event at Blackfriars station, London.

Some 50% longer than almost every train in the Thameslink fleet, the Class 700 will carry up to 1,750 people seated and standing, and will run on routes to London from Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Govia Thameslink Railway CEO Charles Horton said: “These trains have been designed to carry up to 1,750 people in climate-controlled comfort, which is essential to meet the huge growth in passenger numbers that have soared 40% in the past decade. And their wide doors, open interiors and state-of-the-art real-time passenger information systems will help us run a high frequency, high intensity service with over 80% more seats across the heart of London in 2018.”