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First of Nova 1, bullet train inspired fleet leaves Japan on its way to transform journeys in the North and Scotland

Press Release   •   Apr 20, 2018 08:20 BST

  • The first test train for TransPennine Express’s futuristic Nova 1 fleet begins its journey to the UK from Japan
  • 19 new five carriage trains harnessing Japanese bullet train technology 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 left Japan earlier this week and is due to arrive in the UK in two months’ time.

Once the train completes its shipping journey, it will begin testing across the North this summer, ahead of entering passenger service in summer 2019. The train’s journey can be tracked around the world here as it passes through numerous oceans and continents.

The modern Japanese bullet train inspired fleet is being built by Hitachi for Angel Trains.

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

From 2019 this fleet will support the Great North Rail Project by connecting major cities in the North of England and Scotland and will run 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 trains on the popular 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.

Passengers will see further improvements following the upgrade of the Transpennine route between Manchester, Leeds and York.

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:

“We are excited to bring Japanese bullet train technology to the North and look forward to our fleet transforming journeys on this busy route. Our decision to use British businesses to supply parts for the new trains is a multi-million pound boost to the economy, supporting jobs at production sites around the country”

Philip Chilton, Managing Director for wheel set supplier Lucchini Unipart Rail said:

“Seeing our wheel sets carry passengers just a short distance from our Manchester production site will be a proud moment for the workforce. Hitachi has been a key customer for many years now, supplying wheel sets for their British, Japanese and Italian train factories.”  

TransPennine Express Managing Director Leo Goodwin said:

“We are very excited that the first test train of our Nova 1 fleet has now left Japan and is bound for the UK. I’m sure along with many others I will be keeping a watchful eye on the tracker.

“TransPennine Express is delivering an investment of £500million in the next two years in additional services, more seats and not one but three brand new train fleets.”

*Notes on manufacturing and testing*

The new fleet of Hitachi intercity trains (Class 802) were procured by First Group and Angel Trains for TransPennine Express in 2016

Three test trains for the fleet will be built in Japan, with the first (802201) arriving in June.

About Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.

Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) is a global transport specialist with over 100 years of experience building pioneering trains, offering quality maintenance and developing innovative new technology. As a leader in rail we’re improving transport for passengers, connecting communities and helping to boost the UK’s economy.

Having delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, Hitachi is delivering major orders for new trains, with 281 due to be in service by 2021. The first wave of new trains is being made at our purpose-built factory in County Durham and will enter passenger service in 2017 as part of the UK Government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme. With a proud reputation for innovation, Hitachi is at the forefront of using new digital technology to enhance passenger experience and enrich Britain’s railway’s heritage. Hitachi rail is growing rapidly and we’ll soon by more than 2,000 strong, based at 15 locations across the UK.

For more information about the company, please visit: www.Hitachirail-eu.com

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