TransPennine Express (Pre 2023) - TransPennine Express Rolling Stock - C

TransPennine Express (Pre 2023) - C
TransPennine Express Rolling Stock
When TransPennine Express began operation, it inherited a fleet of four Class 170 and 51 Class 185 DMUs, as well as ten Class 350/4 EMUs, from First TransPennine Express. The Class 170s were transferred to Chiltern Railways, where they were converted to Class 168s.
Originally it was planned after all the new trains in the Nova fleet entered service, 22 of the 51 Class 185 DMUs would be returned to Eversholt Rail Group. However these remained with the franchise and allowed services to be strengthened. Further cascades of rolling stock occurred over time; shortly following the introduction of the Class 397 sets during 2020, all ten of the Class 350 EMUs were transferred to West Midlands Trains.
TransPennine Express Project Nova
Upon its instatement, TransPennine Express (TPE) services were particularly heavily trafficked; prior to 2018, the operator reportedly operated the busiest trains in the country, and it was common for some passengers to be unable to be seated during rush hour. Reportedly, the franchise also aimed to reorientation its operations towards inter-city services over its inter-urban routes, although it shall continue to transport large numbers of commuters regardless. As a means of addressing these factors, TPE launched Project Nova, under which the vast majority of their existing rolling stock would be replaced by new-build trainsets with greater capacity.
During 2016, TPE signed contracts valued at £500 million with Spanish rolling stock manufacturer Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) to produce the majority of its Nova rolling stock. The Nova fleet is divided into three distinct categories; the Nova 1 being (Class 802) BMU sets derived from the Hitachi A-train family, the Nova 2 trainsets being CAF-built Class 397 Civity EMUs, and the Nova 3 sets consisting of locomotive-hauled CAF-built Mark 5A coaches.
The Nova 1 fleet had originally been ordered by TPE's predecessor as part of plans to bolster route capacity by 80%; having contracted with Hitachi Rail Europe for the latter to supply 19 five-car bi-mode trainsets. According to Robin Davis, TPE's head of new trains, a major rationale behind the Nova 1 fleet was its bi-mode capability, noting that electrification ambitions often had much uncertainty, while a bi-mode fleet eliminated the operational risk to such uncertainty.
Davis also noted that, in the event of largescale electrification being funded and implemented, the Class 802s could have some of their engines removed to reduce roughly 15% of their weight and thus raise their efficiency. Furthermore, Leo Goodwin, TPE's managing director, has observed that while the Class 802s will have an initial maximum speed of 125 mph, they have the capability of being modified for operating at 140 mph if infrastructure upgrades were to permit such speeds at a future date.
The Nova 2 trainsets were CAF-built Class 397 EMUs, the design being a member of the preexisting Civity range. Davis observed the Class 397 procurement to be a natural fit in light of TPE's desire to rapidly increase capacity and CAF's reputation for speedily producing limited batches of trains. While the Class 397 is capable of attaining a maximum speed of 125 mph, it is be limited to a service speed of 100 mph.
The Nova 3 trainsets use Mark 5A carriages, locomotive-hauled and designed for its inter-city routes. The choice to procure carriages was unusual for the UK market; it was reportedly the first procurement of such rolling stock since the Mark 4 sets for the InterCity 225 during the late 1980s. Davis claims that the expense of constructing DMUs suitable for inter-city services was prohibitive in comparison, and notes that it is to be operated as a fixed-formation push-pull train, not relying on run-arounds as historically performed by locomotive-hauled sets.
From the onset, it was planned for these to be hauled by a small fleet of Class 68 locomotives, requiring minor control-oriented modifications by Stadler to do so. According to franchise documents filed with the Department for Transport (DfT), considerations have been made to alternatively hauling the Nova 3 carriages with Class 88 bi-mode locomotives, which are closely related to the Class 68; however, this would be dependent on relatively ambitious, and thus far unfunded, suggestions for widespread electrification in the region being fulfilled.
On 24 August 2019, the first new trains of the Nova fleet entered revenue service; these were the Nova 3 sets, comprising a Class 68 locomotive and a rake of Mark 5A coaches. On 28 September 2019, the Nova 1 (Class 802) sets followed, while operations of the Nova 2 trainsets (Class 397) commenced on 30 November 2019. TPE officially launched the Nova fleet on 22 November at Liverpool Lime Street station.
TransPennine Express Fleet on Termination of Service
TransPennine Express Diesel Multiple Units
  • Siemens Desiro   185   DHMU
North Route, South Route   2005–2006
TransPennine Express Bi-Mode Multiple Units
  • Hitachi AT300   802/2 Nova 1   BMU
Liverpool Lime Street – Newcastle
Manchester Piccadilly – Newcastle
Edinburgh – Newcastle
Edinburgh – Liverpool Lime Street   2017–2019
TransPennine Express Electric Multiple Units
  • CAF Civity   397 Nova 2   EMU
Anglo-Scottish Route
Manchester Airport – Carlisle   2017–2019
TransPennine Express Locomotive Hauled Stock
  • Stadler UKLight   Class 68 UKLight   Diesel locomotive
Manchester Piccadilly – Scarborough
York – Scarborough   2016–2017
  • CAF   Mark 5A Nova 3   Coach
Driving Trailer   2017–2018
TransPennine Express Past Fleet
Former units operated by TransPennine Express include:
  • Bombardier Turbostar   170/3   DMU
Manchester Piccadilly / Airport-Cleethorpes / Hull / York   2000 2016
  • Siemens Desiro   350/4   EMU
Anglo-Scottish Route   2013–2014   2019–2020
TransPennine Express Managed Stations
TransPennine Express services ran over large areas of northern England and southern Scottish Lowlands. Many of the largest stations they served are managed by other train operating companies or Network Rail.
TransPennine Express managed the following 19 stations:
Grimsby Town
Hull Paragon
Manchester Airport
Some stations from the former franchise operator First TransPennine Express were transferred to Northern. These include Arnside, Barrow-in-Furness, Birchwood, Burneside, Carnforth, Grange-over-Sands, Kendal, Staveley, Ulverston, Warrington Central and Windermere.
TransPennine Express Depots and Servicing
Siemens maintained the Class 185 fleet at Ardwick depot in Manchester with a smaller facility in York. Scottish stabling points for both stock included Polmadie TRSMD (Glasgow) and Craigentinny T.&R.S.M.D. (Edinburgh). Hitachi maintained the Class 802 fleet at Doncaster Carr and Craigentinny.
The new EMUs and loco-hauled sets were to be maintained by Alstom, on behalf of TransPennine Express, at Longsight (Manchester), Edge Hill (Liverpool) and Polmadie (Glasgow). During 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, TPE invested £1.7 million into highly stringent rolling stock cleaning practices; these reportedly represented a 70% upsurge on pre-COVID-19 hygiene practices.
TransPennine Express had depots for its train crews at Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Airport (conductors), York, Newcastle, Scarborough, Hull, Cleethorpes, Sheffield, Preston, Liverpool Lime Street and Glasgow Central.
TransPennine Express Criticism
The TransPennine Express service was often criticised. A satirical article in 2022 called it the "ironically named TransPennine Express. You'd hate to take the non-Express service. It might be quicker to walk."
The Guardian reported cancellations of 20-30% in October and November 2022 and 23% for the four weeks of 5 February to 4 March 2023.
TransPennine Express Overview
TransPennine Express Franchise(s): TransPennine Express
1 April 2016 – 28 May 2023
Main Route(s): North West England, Yorkshire and the Humber, North East England, Scotland
TransPennine Express Fleet Size:
14 × Class 68 locomotives + 66 Mark 5A coaches (forming 13 loco-hauled Nova 3 sets)
51 × Class 185 Desiro
12 × Class 397 Civity (Nova 2)
19 × Class 802 AT300 (Nova 1)
TransPennine Express Stations Operated: 19
TransPennine Express Parent Company: FirstGroup
TransPennine Express Reporting Mark; TP
TransPennine Express Predecessor: First TransPennine Express
TransPennine Express Successor: TransPennine Trains trading as TransPennine Express
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