July 9 2019 @ 8:00 by Steven Hugill
A North East train builder has hit another production milestone after an operator received its first rolling stock.
Hitachi Rail says TransPennine Express (TPE) has officially welcomed its first Nova 1 train.
The rolling stock, made at Hitachi’s £82 million factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, will be used on TPE services between Manchester, Leeds, York, Newcastle, Morpeth and Edinburgh.
Bosses say the trains, of which TPE is due to receive 19 five-carriage examples, will be phased into service before the end of the year.
They added the bullet-style trains will mean more carriages and space for 342 seats – an increase of 161 on existing models – as well as WiFi, an electronic seat reservations system and a real time passenger information system.
Speaking of the rolling stock, which has been financed by Angel Trains, Karen Boswell, Hitachi Rail managing director, said: “This is another fantastic milestone, which will soon see the Northern Powerhouse connected with modern reliable trains.
“They will double the number of seats for TransPennine passengers on intercity services between major cities across the North.”
Chris Nutton, TPE’s major projects director, added: “The acceptance of the first Nova 1 train is a key step towards the introduction of more trains and more carriages for customers.”