New trains to replace Northern Pacers
Spanish train builder CAF has won a £490m contract to build 281 rail vehicles for Arriva Rail North, the new company responsible for the re-awarded Northern rail franchise which becomes operational on April 1.
The deal is being financed by rolling stock leasing company Eversholt.
CAF will supply 31 three car and 12 four car electric multiple units (EMUs), as well as 30 three car and 25 two car diesel multiple units (DMUs). All the new trains are expected to be in service by December 2018.
LTT approached Arriva for more details but a spokesperson was unable to say when the first trains would be operational or how much additional capacity they would provide.
Replacement fulfils a franchise commitment to replace the ageing and unpopular ‘Pacer’ trains, which currently account for a sizeable chunk of Northern’s train mileage. The new trains are based on CAF’s ‘Civity’ model and will feature air-conditioning, free-wifi, power sockets and have other refinements.
Arriva has a nine year franchise. The incumbent operation (which ends on 31 March 2016) is provided by a Serco-Abellio joint venture.