The Launch of the £500m Transpennie Express Nova fleet has commenced. Over the next two years, a total of 44 new trains will be running between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh. The Nova fleet comprises of three different class of train. One of which branded as nova 1 (class 802) is already a proven design which been in service with GWR since last year.
The north as a whole has always suffered from many issues within the rail sector the main problems being with either old stock or stock two small for the number of passengers wanting to use the service. Overcrowding has been an issue for several years, in addition to late-running or cancellation of services from both Transpennie Express and Northern Rail.
Transpennie Express hope that the issues will be resolved, thanks to the new Nova fleet. Transpennie Express Chief Leo Goodwin said in a statement:
The Launch was “the brightest future for rail in the north”. When asked about the Nova name he went on to say “The name Nova reflects the positive changes that will truly transform rail travel for our customers. With enhancement to customers experience onboard and an increase in capacity of 80% on all routes.
“Our vision at TPE is to take the north further, and these new trains offer more seats, improved connectivity and a higher standard of comfort.”
Three Trains will be running on different routes and are as below:
The Nova 1 (class 802) which will be five-car units comprise of 342 seats of which 24 are first class and 318 standard. They will run between Liverpool, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Manchester. Features include five toilets on board and Storage for up to four bikes.
Class 802’s are bi-mode units which means they are both able to operate from 25,000 volt AC overhead live wire and also their onboard deiseal engines.
They will have a top speed in service of 125 MPH; however, they are permitted to do 140 MPH when in electric mode. Before this speed can be reached however track update improvements, need to be made. In diesel mode, the maximum permissible speed is 125 and is not set to change. It’s worth noting that the top speed of TPE’s excising fleet of class 185 and 350s is 100 MPH and 110 MPH respectfully.
The Nova 2 (class 397) will also be 5 car units and comprise of 286 seats of which 22 are first class and 264 standard. The units will run between Liverpool and Manchester Airport to Edinburgh and Glasgow all service to Scotland will run via Preston.
Class 397s will have a top speed of 125MPH and are 25,000 volt AC only units. They will have the same features as mentioned above with the Nova 1 as well a considerable improvement in table seats compared to the current stock 60% of seats on the Nova 2 will be around a table.
Finally, the Nova 3, which is locomotive hauled and therefore does not have a class number, will be formed of a class 68 Diesel locomotive and 5 MK5A carriages. They will comprise of 291 seats of which 30 are first class and 110 261 seats in standard. The loco haul sets will run between Manchester Airport, Liverpool, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.
Nova 3 will have a top speed of 100MPH and are diesel only due to being pulled by the class 68 locomotives. They will have an additional 110 seats per seat compared to the current class 185 stock currently In service.
It’s worth mentioning that all fleets will have electric traffic light style reservation systems. As soon as you get onto the train, you can look down the whole carriage and see what is reserved (red) what is Partially reserved (yellow) and what seat will be free for the entire trip (Green).
They also have wall outlet plug sockets at every pair of seats and wi-fi plus Exstream which is the board entertainment system onboard.
Our team will be onboard each train soon so keeps checking back for our in-depth review and also which one out of the three we think will be the best.