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  • The first test train for TransPennine Express’s futuristic Nova 1 fleet arrived in the UK earlier today
  • 19 new five carriage trains harnessing Japanese bullet train technology are due to enter service in 2019
  • TransPennine Express is introducing three fleets of new trains. Together, these will provide 13 million more seats per year

The first of TransPennine Express’s new Nova 1 trains completed its two month journey from Japan today, arriving at the Port of Southampton today, Monday 11th June 2018.

The train’s journey included crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as passing through the Panama Canal.

People will be able to catch their first glimpse of the train this summer when it begins testing in the North. The modern Japanese bullet train inspired fleet is being built by Hitachi and financed by Angel Trains.

Modern trains connecting towns and cities across the North and into Scotland

From 2019 this fleet will connect major cities in the North of England and Scotland, running from Manchester and Liverpool, across the Pennines to cities such as Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The trains will provide 161 additional seats compared to the existing ones on the busy intercity route. Customers will benefit from spacious carriages, providing extra legroom and additional luggage space and the experience on-board will be completely transformed.

Each new train will offer fast, free Wi-Fi in both Standard and First Class as well as complimentary on-board entertainment system, Exstream, allowing customers to stream the latest movies and TV shows during their journey.

British businesses chosen to supply train parts

The investment in these new trains is supporting thousands of jobs across the UK through Hitachi’s decision to choose over 30 UK firms to supply key components. Businesses chosen include Lucchini Unipart Rail (LUR), whose Manchester factory will build wheel sets for the trains.

The fleet will also support long-term jobs at depots along the route, including Hitachi’s newly built £80million depot in Doncaster.

Pioneering hybrid trains for the North

Hitachi is using its famous Japanese-bullet train technology to make the new Nova 1 fleet light and aerodynamic. The 19 trains will all be hybrid, meaning they can switch seamlessly mid-journey between electric and diesel power. The trains, will be able to run in either five or ten carriage formation, capable of speeds of up to 140mph in electric mode and 125 mph using diesel engines.

By using modern MTU engines from Rolls-Royce, the trains will cut harmful emissions under diesel power by up to 90%.

Berry Sas, Projects Director for Hitachi Rail Europe said:

“Today is another important milestone as we deliver pioneering new trains for millions of passengers in the North and Scotland. We will begin our rigorous test programme in the coming weeks, which I’m sure will excite passengers and enthusiasts along the route”

Director at Port of Southampton Alastair Welch said:

“We are delighted to welcome these five carriages into the Port of Southampton. While more familiar with the imports and exports of automotive and bulk we were pleased to assist these high speed locomotives with the next stage in their journey.”

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