Northern has unveiled the first two trains in a £500m new fleet that will set new standards for customers using local rail in the north of England.
The first of the state-of-the-art new trains arrived in the UK last month and were unveiled by David Brown, Northern’s Managing Director and Jake Berry, Northern Powerhouse Minister, at a special event in Liverpool.
Due to start entering service by the end of the year, the new trains will mean a step-change in quality for customers, with features such as free customer Wi-Fi, air conditioning, at-seat power and seat reservation systems."
David Brown said: “I was lucky enough to see the trains in production in Spain earlier in the year, but its’ even better to see them here in Liverpool – just weeks away from entering passenger service.
“The quality of what has been delivered is a real landmark for Northern and our customers, and to be able to demonstrate that quality to colleagues and stakeholders today is an incredibly proud moment for me.
“Now it only remains for us to share these fantastic new trains with our customers, so that they can experience the comfort and the benefits all the new on-board features bring.”
The launch event was hosted by Northern at Alstom’s Edge Hill depot and was supported by train manufacturer CAF and owners Eversholt Rail.
Jake Berry MP said: “These spacious, comfortable and modern new trains are a clear demonstration of both the Government and train operators commitment to the Northern Powerhouse and putting passengers at the heart of everything we do.
“We are investing in the biggest modernisation of our rail network since Victorian times, ensuring people receive the faster, more reliable and more frequent services they deserve.
“Over the next few months we will see these brand new, state-of-the-art trains start replace the out-dated Pacer trains, providing more seats and better journeys for passengers across the Northern Powerhouse.”
Steve Timothy, Client Relations Director at Eversholt Rail, said: “We are delighted to see our new Class 195 DMU and Class 331 EMU trains built by CAF in Liverpool today, on the verge of entering passenger service with Northern. We hope Northern’s customers will enjoy travelling on them in due course.”
Richard Garner, CAF UK Director, added: “The official launch of our trains is the culmination of a successful collaboration between our company, Northern and Eversholt Rail.
“It is extremely gratifying to know that in just a few months' time the first customers will experience our high-quality, high-performance trains on this important and busy rail network across the north of England."
The new trains are just part of the improvements Northern is making to transform its customers’ rail experience.
Last month Northern launched its first fully refurbished train – a Class 158 - which boasts many of the same features as the new trains and will be the blueprint for the refurbishment of the rest of the Northern fleet.
And the train enhancements will continue to be complemented by further investment such as an increase in services and improvements at more than 400 Northern stations.