Tests of new trains under way July 31, 2018

Tests of new trains that will come into use on TransPennine Express services through Huddersfield from next year are now under way on tracks in the Yorkshire region.

The first run of the Hitachi train recently took place between Doncaster and Darlington following its shipment to the UK from Japan. The bullet-train-inspired five-carriage units have been named Nova 1 by TransPennine Express and are officially numbered Class 802. From next year they will operate services from Liverpool and Manchester through Huddersfield, Leeds and York and continue to Newcastle and also on to Edinburgh. A total of 19 of the new trains will be introduced.

The trains are bi-mode, meaning they can switch mid-journey from using electric to using their large tanks of diesel on sections where rail electrification has not taken place, such as through Huddersfield.

The trains are capable of speeds of up to 125mph on sections of the route where line speed limits allow this and, running on electric, their speed could be increased to 140mph if lines are upgraded. The trains have engines from MTU, the German engine-maker now owned by Rolls-Royce.

The trains are one of two new types which will operate TransPennine Express services through Huddersfield. Also being introduced are Nova 3 trains, which are five-carriage sets of coaches with a streamlined end. These are being built by CAF in Spain to be hauled by recently-introduced Class 68 diesel locomotives, which were also built in Spain.

They will run alongside the recently-refurbished German-built Siemens 3-car Class 185 trains which have been the mainstay of TransPennine Express services for the past 12 years. New Nova 2 electric trains, again from CAF in Spain, are also due to be introduced on TransPennine Express services from North West England into Scotland from next year.

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