Inaugural run between Preston and Manchester
The first of First TransPennine Express’s new fleet of electric trains ran between Preston and Manchester on 12 December with special guests on board.
The ten new Class 350/4 trains, built by Siemens, will be all be delivered by May 2014 and will bring an 80% increase in capacity between Manchester and Scotland.
Guests from organisations across the north of England were invited onto the special service which departed Preston at 11.28 after been sung off by the First TransPennine Express choir and from a platform decorated with red carpets.
Representatives from local authorities, rail user groups and public transport executives joined senior delegates from FTPE, Network Rail, Siemens, Angel Trains and the Department for Transport.
Passenger services will commence on 30 December and will mark the successful completion of Network Rail’s phase one delivery of its £400m North West electrification programme.
A new FTPE timetable will be launched in May 2014 that will bring a 30 per cent increase in capacity across the whole of its network.
Phased introduction of the new four-car trains will take place between the end of December and May 2014.
Rail Minister Stephen Hammond said: ‘This Government is determined to transform our railways and this multi-million pound project is a good example of the rail industry working to make that a reality.
‘These new electric trains will provide a real boost to passengers and local businesses in the north, delivering increased capacity and more reliable journeys.’