TRANSPENNINE Express has launched its new Nova 44-train fleet. 

Stakeholders and dignitaries from across the north were at the event as the Nova trains were unveiled to the public, with speeches from those involved in the £500 million project.

Among the fleet is the Nova 3 which will operate between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, York, Scarborough and Middlesbrough.

The trains will feature 287 seats, an extra 106 seats compared to existing trains, with real-time passenger information and Wi-Fi on-board. 

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 fleet was built by CAF and Hitachi and financed by Beacon Rail Leasing, Eversholt Rail Group and Angel Trains.

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.

Mr 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 per cent 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 new train features 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.”

Richard Garner, CAF UK Director, said:"CAF is extremely proud to be part of a hugely successful team approach between our company, TPE, Eversholt Rail and Beacon Rail Leasing which sees the Nova 2 and Nova 3 entering passenger service. These high quality, high performance trains will provide TPE customers across the North of England and Scotland with a transformed onboard experience, making a real difference to this important and busy rail network." 

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."