New trains for Merseyrail and Hull Trains?
Merseytravel has taken a closer step towards acquiring new electric trains for its Merseyrail network. They are urgently needed to replace the existing fleet of 59 class 507/508 three car units, which are nearly 40 years old. Merseytravel expects passenger numbers to increase by 40% by 2028.
New trains would cost around £400m, and a decision from the Merseytravel committee is expected on 1 October. If approval is authorised, the new trains could be in service by the early 2020s.
East of the Pennines, open access operator First Hull Trains has launched a consultation to acquire five new high speed bi-modal units -which have the capability of operating on either diesel or electric traction – and would cost £68m to build. They could be in service by 2020. However, the deal is only likely to go ahead if the ORR grants Hull Trains a 10 year extension (to 2029) to its open access agreement.