New Class 350 EMUs to reach Ardwick by Christmas
First/Keolis Transpennine Express’ already modern fleet is set to be augmented by ten 4-car electric trains. The Siemens Desiro EMUs are set to reach Liverpool and Ardwick depots by December. The new trains will cost £60 million with the addition of EMU depots in Preston and Liverpool.
Like the Class 185 DMUs, doors will be placed one-third and two-thirds way of each carriage. They will replace Class 185s on the Anglo-Scottish routes from Manchester Airport, running as two 4-car sets. There will be 210 seats per 4-car unit, including 19 First Class. One tangible difference of the new trains are corridor connections at each end.
It is expected that the trains would increase capacity on the Manchester Airport – Glasgow Central/Edinburgh Waverley services by 82%. The Anglo-Scottish services will approach Preston via Newton-le-Willows on a newly electrified line from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester stations.
For the last half decade, Siemens’ Class 350 units have seen regular use on the Birmingham New Street to Liverpool Lime Street services. They have won friends over their quiet ambience and have suited the semi-fast nature of that service. Though a welcome addition over running diesels ‘under the wires’ they are still in my view, inferior to the BR Mark 2D – 2F carriages which offered plusher seats.
Quibbles aside, they are a welcome addition to Transpennine Express’ rolling stock. Their introduction would allow extra capacity on North West to Yorkshire and North East Transpennine Express services. This will enable TPE to operate five trains per hour between Manchester and Leeds.
Our fellows at Transpennine Express have released a video on the forthcoming trains. Enjoy:
S.V., 06 June 2013.