Network Rail's £500m Fleet for the Future

Amidst a quarry of public anger and negative press, Network Rail is planning for a brighter future. Hoping to head back to the top of the industry, their promised route is a new fleet of trains that cost a total of £500m.

The first of the smart diesel trains recently left on a trial run out of Liverpool St Helens on towards the West Coast Mainline between Warrington and Carnforth. The trains which are built by CAF yet owned by Eversholt Rail, aim to launch their first running service by the end of the year. Currently, they are undergoing their initial dynamic testing on the UK rail network.

Improved Passenger Journeys

With passenger experience in mind, the trains have been designed to include key new features such as WiFi, air conditioning, power sockets and upgraded seating. Additional benefits are planned to be added to the services at a later date which both focus on automation: digital seat reservations and customer information screens.

The motive for the futuristic fleet is the Northern bosses promise for ‘improved passenger journeys’ after sustained delays and cancellations throughout the year caused by the release of the new timetable in May. As part of a multi-million-pound investment in the rail sector, the fleet is an addition to an enhancement programme offering new trains, more services, better stations and faster journeys.

Client Collaboration

CAF’s UK Director, Richard Garner boasts, “we continue to enjoy an excellent collaborative working relationship with Northern and the UK track testing of vehicles is yet another important milestone.”

“We take a step closer to seeing our vehicles operating on Northern’s important and busy rail network, when we are confident our reliable, high-performance trains will deliver the best possible customer experience.”

Project partner, Client Relations Director at Eversholt Rail, Steve Timothy also commented, “we are excited to see our new Class 195 and Class 331 trains arriving in the UK and moving into the testing phase.”

“We’ll continue to work closely with Northern rail, CAF and local stakeholders to support these trains going into passenger service successfully in 2019.”

The promising development of these well-equipped trains could vastly improve the existing public transport system in the UK. If you’re a rail professional anticipating the transformation of rail in 2019, keep up to date on our website or visit our events to find out more.

Published: 29th September 2018