New Novas for the North
In a ceremony at Liverpool’s Lime Street Station on 22nd November, TransPennine Express launched its new ‘Nova’ fleet of trains to an audience that included stakeholders and dignitaries from across the north, as well as the general public.
Each new train features high quality seating and interiors with more luggage space, plug and USB charging points, free on-board wi-fi in both standard and first class and the entertainment system Exstream featuring the latest TV shows, news and films.
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. Kevin Tribley, CEO at Angel Trains, added: “The introduction of the Nova 1 fleet is a significant milestone which will see the Northern Powerhouse connected with new top-of-the-range trains. By investing in and developing trains that improve passenger experience between major cities across the North, we’re taking strides towards creating the railway of the future that modern Britain deserves. We are incredibly proud of our team and would like to thank our partners Hitachi and TransPennine Express for all their hard work in making this project a success.”
Updates on the DLR
Thales has signed two new contracts to support London’s Docklands Light Railway’s (DLR) rolling stock replacement programme, which will help deliver more frequent and reliable journeys in East London from 2023.
The updates will improve the DLR’s exceptional operational performance, while maintaining the on-time train reliability rate of 99 per cent that it has historically delivered. Both contracts will run until September 2024.
The first contract will be for the supply and integration of on board control systems for a new fleet of 43 trains TfL announced earlier this year. This contract is direct with the rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles, S.A (CAF). The second, with TfL, will be for DLR signalling system upgrades to the software sub systems that will also support the new trains. These upgrades will help to deliver increased capacity and reliability to east London passengers. More trains on the system will mean a higher level of service.
In addition to working with the DLR, Thales is currently also modernising the London Underground. The 4LM project involves making signalling upgrades to the Circle, District, Metropolitan and Hammersmith & City lines.
Thirty-three of the Class 195 and Class 331 trains are now operating on a number of routes, and 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 for customers and are fully accessible with spaces for wheelchairsand bikes.
“The Northern network is busier than it has been for a generation – more than 100 million customer journeys will be made on Northern services in 2019 – and the introduction of new trains is at the heart of our transformation for customers. We are delighted, therefore, that even more customers travelling across the north are now served by brand new trains – more than one million customer journeys have already been made on the new trains,” said David Brown, Northern’s Managing Director.