Last week representatives from Arriva Rail North (Northern), including Managing Director David Brown, visited the CAF factory in Zaragosa, Spain to see the first of the brand new electric trains.
The Northern modernisation is gathering speed with this first completed new train due off the production line in a matter of weeks.
The unit will then undergo rigorous safety checks before heading to Velim in the Czech Republic for further tests and checks.
These tests will take place during the spring and summer with the first trains scheduled to carry our customers in time for Christmas 2018.
David Brown was joined on the trip to CAF by a number of key stakeholders, as well as members of the media, and was able to show that our modernisation of Northern is really taking shape.
The MD commented: “Our new trains are seriously impressive and there is little doubt that those who came to the CAF factory are hugely excited about the future and what this means for our customers.”
“This is a landmark moment for Northern and for rail travel in the north of England. We are introducing 98 new electric and diesel trains which will significantly improve journeys and the travel experience for our customers across the region. As well as looking like 21st Century trains, our new state-of-the-art units will be capable of travelling at 100mph, will have wi-fi, plug sockets at every seat, will be air conditioned and fully accessible.”
“Our modernisation programme is gathering pace and the promises we made at the start of the franchise are really taking shape. Alongside our new trains we have delivered more than 70 refurbished trains which are already helping customers go about their daily lives with greater reliability and comfort.”
“We have also started a significant station improvement scheme (Better Stations) which has already seen more than 100 stations upgraded. This work will continue for the next 18 months as we further improve waiting areas, seating, lighting and customer information.”
“By 2020 we will also be operating an extra 2,000 services every week meaning our customers will not only have better trains and stations, they will also have improved options to get them to where they need to be.”
Below are links to two short videos and the first images of the almost complete Class 331 EMU. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll share much more with you as the introduction of our new trains moves ever closer.