New train carriages will be rolled out this year, as part of a drive to introduce thousands more in the next two years.
In 2019, 11 train operators throughout Britain are planning a “bumper” year of in terms of introducing improved train carriages that will deliver better journeys, greater accessibility, more seats, wireless internet, and air conditioning.
It will mean retirement of some trains on the network that have been operational since the 1970s, guaranteeing modernisation that will allow operators to run additional services.
The drive to introduce new train carriages on the rail network underlines the importance of private investment on the railways; figures reveal almost £14 billion is being invested in new rolling stock by the private sector.
Train companies in the UK are introducing 7,000 new vehicles into new services in the years up to 2021, which is part of a wider industry drive to not only improve services, but to boost the economy with 6,400 extra services every week.
Paul Plummer is the Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group. He said the new services will be of vital use to businesses throughout the UK.
He said: “These new and refurbished-like-new carriages will help rail companies to deliver on their commitment to run at least 6,400 extra services a week, supporting communities and businesses in every corner of the country.”
The investment and commitment into new rolling stock is expected to continue in the next decades, with analysis predicting that, by March 2034, the number of carriages on the railways could increase by up to 34%.
This year, a significant number of new train carriages will be introduced. Caledonian Sleeper will replace its entire fleet with 75 new carriages – part of a £150 million investment, which will offer en-suite rooms and double beds.
The first wave of 98 new Northern trains will start to run on its routes; ScotRail will introduce more of its new Hitachi Class 385 trains; and three new types of trains will be rolled out by TransPennine Express on new and existing routes.