More new trains for TransPennine Express

FirstGroup-owned TransPennine Express has ordered 25 new five car train sets from Spanish manufacturer CAF. The deal is worth is worth £230m and the new trains should be delivered during 2018-19.

CAF will build 12 five car bi-mode ‘Civity’ sets (to be financed by Eversholt), and 13 five loco-hauled carriages (to be financed by Beacon Rail Leasing). Beacon also owns the Class 68 diesel locomotives that will haul the trains (but which will be leased from DRS, Direct Rail Services).

No UK train builder took part in the competitive tendering process.

The ‘Civities’ will be used on Liverpool/Manchester to Edinburgh/Glasgow services; the loco-hauled sets will (initially) run between Liverpool and Newcastle.

A FirstGroup spokesperson told  21CR that loco-hauled stock was selected because, “it can be designed and manufactured more quickly compared to equivalent electric or diesel trains. Most of the Class 68s are already manufactured and available. The carriages could be used with an electric locomotive once the Manchester-Leeds route is electrified.”

One of the carriages will be fitted with a driving end so the sets can be operated in ‘push-pull’ mode.

TPE already has 19 five car bi-mode sets on order from Hitachi, and both orders will more than double TPE capacity. CAF is also building for Arriva Rail North and Caledonian Sleeper.


Artist's impression of new 'Civity' train
Artist’s impression of new ‘Civity’ train

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