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TransPennine Express launches Hitachi Rail built Nova 1 intercity trains

Press release -

TransPennine Express launches Hitachi Rail built Nova 1 intercity trains

  • New modern, longer intercity trains almost double seats for passengers with 161 per train
  • Nova 1 was delivered on time, with passengers already benefitting from a proven and reliable train
  • Trains will be substantially better for the environment by cutting emissions and carbon dioxide

More seats for passengers

TransPennine Express has launched its new Hitachi-built Nova 1 trains on time at a ceremony in Liverpool’s Lime Street Station (22nd November).

Passengers benefit from the trains’ modern design and longer 26m carriage which allows them to offer a whopping 161 extra seats per train – nearly doubling capacity (89%).

The Nova 1 also offer modern WiFi, extra luggage space and modern carriages.

On time and reliable

The 19 new trains – built incorporating bullet train technology – will make journeys across the North smoother and reliable, connecting cities including Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York and Glasgow.

The Nova 1 was delivered on time and it has already carried passengers over 38,000 miles – the equivalent of going to Lands End to John o’ Groats 43 times – with no major issues.

Reliable, clean and popular

The Nova 1 fleet is the fifth intercity express fleet to be introduced to the UK by Hitachi, and everywhere the trains have been introduced passenger experience has increased.

Impressive performance and faster acceleration – get up to 125mph top line speed limit more quickly – which will help with punctuality

Since the new trains can draw power from the newly installed electric wires, the Nova 1s are significantly cleaner than the old diesel trains they are replacing.

For large sections on TransPennine routes, the Nova 1 will run electric mode and once electrification is complete, they will produce zero emissions.

In the meantime, they will minimise disruption during infrastructure upgrades and passengers get the new trains and extra seats they need.

Leo Goodwin, Managing Director of TransPennine Express, outlined the benefit the new fleet will bring to the north. He said: “Our vision was for Nova to represent the brightest future for rail in the north and we are so pleased to today make this vision a reality for customers, colleagues and businesses who make the TransPennine Express network such a crucial part of our infrastructure here in Liverpool and across the north.”

The new 44-train fleet was built by CAF and Hitachi and financed by Beacon Rail Leasing, Eversholt Rail Group and Angel Trains. Each train offers between 286-342 seats and five carriages. Nova 1 serves Liverpool to Newcastle and Edinburgh to Manchester Airport and Newcastle, Nova 2 travels between Manchester and Liverpool to Glasgow and Edinburgh via Preston, and Nova 3 moves between Liverpool, Manchester Airport, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.

Leo Goodwin added: “The name Nova reflects the positive changes that will truly transform rail travel for our customers, with an enhancement to customers experience on board 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.”

Each train features high quality seating and interiors with more luggage space, plug and USB charging points, free on-board wi-fi in both standard and first class and the entertainment system Exstream featuring the latest TV shows, news and films.

Andrew Barr, Hitachi Rail’s Group CEO said: “The new Nova 1 fleet will nearly double the number of seats available to passengers – up to a whopping 161 extra per train. These modern intercity trains – built incorporating bullet train technology – will make journeys across the North smoother and more reliable.

“Delivering the Hitachi fleet on time will allow passengers to have an early Christmas present, with trains that are proven to boost passenger satisfaction.”

Kevin Tribley, CEO at Angel Trains, said: “The introduction of the Nova 1 fleet is a significant milestone which will see the Northern Powerhouse connected with new top-of-the-range trains. By investing in and developing trains that improve passenger experience between major cities across the North, we’re taking strides towards creating the railway of the future that modern Britain deserves. We are incredibly proud of our team and would like to thank our partners Hitachi and TransPennine Express for all their hard work in making this project a success.”


Nova stats and facts:

Nova 1

  • Will operate between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh
  • 342 seats (providing an extra 161 seats compared to the trains they replace) – 318 standard, 24 first class
  • Real time passenger information system in every coach
  • Five toilets on-board, including a universal access toilet
  • Storage for up to four bicycles
  • Electronic seat reservations system
  • Wi-Fi and media servers on-board with power sockets at every pair of seats
  • Maintained by Hitachi at its Doncaster and Craigentinny depots
  • Our 19 five-carriage trains are being built by Hitachi and financed by Angel Trains
  • These are bi-mode trains, meaning they can switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power



About Hitachi Rail: Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries across six continents and over 12,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world ­famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state­-of-the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit

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