First TransPennine Express - First TransPennine Express Rolling Stock - C

First TransPennine Express - C

First TransPennine Express Rolling Stock

First TransPennine Express inherited a fleet of two and three car Class 158 Express Sprinter trains from Arriva Trains Northern. It also operated Class 175 Coradias on hire from Arriva Trains Wales.

A franchise commitment was the replacement of the entire fleet, so in 2005 First TransPennine Express ordered 56 (later cut back by the Strategic Rail Authority to 51) three car Class 185 Desiros, the first of which entered service in March 2006.

Most of the Class 185s were delivered in FirstGroup's neon blue livery. The "i" in the logo of Keolis is used as the "i" in the TransPennine Express logo in addition to the First "flying f" logo. The first eight units were delivered in First's dark blue livery, and later reliveried with neon blue vinyls.

The Class 185 trains proved popular with off-peak travellers, although these satisfaction levels decreased for passengers undertaking long-distance journeys and at peak times.

Despite the 185s having a higher capacity than two-car 158s, 185s frequently left passengers behind due to severe overcrowding at peak times. Transport for Greater Manchester stated in 2007 that projected passenger numbers would probably mean that 100–125 mph (161–201 km/h) 8-car units would be needed by 2014.

It was planned to operate all services with the new Class 185 Desiros. However, weight restrictions on the Micklefield to Hull line restricted the Class 185s to 65–75 mph (105–121 km/h). To solve this and create extra capacity, First TransPennine Express leased eight Class 170 Turbostars from late 2006 that were surplus to South West Trains' requirements, and in November 2007 a ninth was transferred from Central Trains. The Class 185 Desiros operated across the network, the Class 170 Turbostars on services from Manchester to Cleethorpes, Hull and York.

Since May 2014 services between Manchester and Scotland were operated by the Class 350/4s electric multiple units. This enabled the diesel trains in use on the Manchester to Scotland services to be transferred to other TransPennine Express services. The Manchester Airport to Blackpool route was also electrified, allowing further diesel trains to be cascaded on to other TransPennine Express services. However, this was after the end of the former TransPennine Express franchise.

In February 2012 the Department for Transport announced that 10 four-car electric Class 350 Desiros had been ordered to operate services from Manchester to Scotland via Wigan after electrification. It was confirmed that all the existing rolling stock would remain with the franchise to boost capacity.

However, in March 2014 it was announced that the nine Class 170 Turbostars would move to Chiltern Railways. MP Stephen Hammond revealed on 12 March 2014 that all the class 170/3s would remain with First TransPennine Express until the May 2015 timetable change.

In January 2015 it was confirmed Chiltern would take five of the Class 170s from May 2015 and the other four from February 2016. First TransPennine hired Class 156 Super Sprinters (which were originally intended to be used for extra capacity on Northern Rail services) from Northern Rail to work in pairs on the Manchester Airport-Blackpool North route, ahead of that route's transfer (along with the services to Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere) to the new Northern franchise in April 2016.

First TransPennine Express Fleet at End of Franchise

Diesel Multiple Units

  • 156 Super Sprinter   DMU

Manchester Airport–Blackpool North

  • 185 Desiro

North TransPennine & South TransPennine

  • 170/3 Turbostar

Manchester Piccadilly–Cleethorpes/Hull/York

Electric Multiple Units

  • 350/4 Desiro   EMU

Anglo-Scottish Route

First TransPennine Express Overview

First TransPennine Express Franchise(s):
TransPennine Express
1 February 2004 – 31 March 2016

First TransPennine Express Main Route(s): North West England, Yorkshire and Humber, North East England, Scotland
First TransPennine Express Fleet Size: 67 units
(6 units were subleased from Northern Rail)

First TransPennine Express Stations Called At: 90
First TransPennine Express Stations Operated: 30
First TransPennine Express Parent Company: FirstGroup (55%)
Keolis (45%)

First TransPennine Express Reporting Mark: TP
First TransPennine Express Predecessors:
Arriva Trains Northern
First North Western

First TransPennine Express Successor: TransPennine Express


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