TransPennine Express launches new £500m fleet
A new £500m fleet of trains promising to increase capacity by 80% on routes in the north of England and Scotland has been launched.
The investment over two years will see 44 new trains run between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
Leo Goodwin of TransPennine Express said the launch was "the brightest future for rail in the north".
The Nova fleet also offers more luggage storage, extra plug sockets, free wi-fi and an on-board entertainment system.
Mr 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% 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."
Bruce Williamson from passenger group Railfuture said he "welcomed" the investment.
He said: "Overcrowding has been a problem across the network and we welcome any new investment and increased capacity."
In September a report by Transport for the North found an increase in both late and cancelled services on TransPennine Express and Northern rail services compared with 2018.
TPE blamed much of its worsening performance on "weather events such as flooding and extreme heat".
The new Nova fleet will serve the North TransPennine network including Newcastle to Manchester Airport, Middlesbrough to Manchester Airport and Scarborough to Liverpool.
Nova 1 will operate between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh and will see 161 extra seats available to passengers almost doubling the current total to 342. The 19, five-carriage trains are bi-mode meaning they can be run using diesel or electric power.
Nova 2 is a fleet of 12 five-carriage electric trains with 105 extra seats compared to current trains. It will travel between Manchester Airport and Liverpool to Glasgow and Edinburgh via Preston.
Nova 3 will operate between Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Scarborough and Middlesbrough. Thirteen five-car carriages will see 106 extra seats and will be pulled by locomotives.
Last year TransPennine Express doubled the number of express services between Liverpool and Manchester and introduced two "fast services" between Newcastle and Manchester.