Northern has unveiled the state-of-the-art trains which will form the fleet to replace the operator’s 30-year-old Pacers.
It is the latest step in the modernisation of the Northern stock, with the new fleet set to be introduced at the end of 2018.
This has been described as a “landmark moment” and Northern expect the first of this new fleet of train to be completed and off its production line in Zaragoza, in a matter of weeks.
The train was presented to the operator at a special event hosted by CAF and it is the first of 98 new units that form part of Northern’s modernisation.
The state-of-the-art trains will give customers a much better experience and are capable of cutting journey times, according to David Brown, Managing Director of Northern.
He said: “This is a landmark moment for Northern and rail travel in the north of England.
“We are introducing 98 new electric and diesel trains which will significantly improve journeys and the travel experience of our customers across the region.
“As well as looking like 21st century trains, our new state-of-the-art units will be capable of travelling at 100mph, will have wifi, plug sockets at every seat, will be air conditioned and fully accessible.”
The lack of funding on the rail network in the north, compared with down south, has been heavily criticised of late. Modernisation like this is the type that people and businesses believe the region needs to encourage greater investment in the area and ultimately boost the economy.
These new units are part of Northern’s drive to modernise the railway by 2020, which will not only include new trains, but also better stations.
The next step will see the completed units transported to the Czech Republic for testing before more are undertaken in the UK.
All being well, the first trains will be carrying passengers by Christmas.