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TransPennine Express marks three years of Nova

TransPennine Express is celebrating a special birthday this week after its Nova fleet of new trains marked three years of serving customers.

These ultramodern trains, which carry people across the North of England and into Scotland, have transformed the onboard travelling experience for TPE customers, as well as providing more seats to more locations than ever before.

The rail operator first began operating its Nova trains for customers back in November 2019 and, since then, almost 23 million journeys have been made on the trains, with the full fleet having travelled 12 million miles in total – the equivalent of going to the moon and back 25 times.

Matthew Golton, Managing Director for TransPennine Express said:

“We are pleased to be celebrating three years since all three of our Nova fleets first entered passenger service.
“These superb trains, which are some of the most modern in the UK, have totally transformed the travelling experience and made a real difference for those that use them and remain very popular with customers across our network.

“Introduced just a few months before the Covid-19 pandemic began, these trains also played an important part in transporting those making essential journeys, including key workers, across the North and into Scotland.”

The 44-strong Nova fleet, which consists of three different types of train – Nova 1, 2 and 3, were built by Hitachi Rail and CAF and financed by Beacon Rail Leasing, Eversholt Rail and Angel Trains, with the Nova 3 trains hauled by Direct Rail Service locomotives.

In recent times, the Nova 1 trains have topped the table for fleet reliability across the whole of the UK twice this year and recorded an average of 182,278 MTIN (miles between technical incident), the highest of any train fleet across the UK in the past 64 weeks.

CAF UK Director Richard Garner said:

“The Nova 2 and 3 trains have been a huge success. These high-quality, high-performing trains are making a real difference to customers journeys. We are really pleased with the customer feedback, remarking not only on the stylish appearance, but also the spacious interior and the enhanced comfort.”

Jim Brewin, Head of UK & Ireland for Hitachi Rail, said:

“For four weeks during this Summer, the Nova 1 fleet travelled the equivalent of 7 times around the world without a single technical incident. This is another Hitachi intercity fleet setting records in reliability.

“Proud of our collaboration with TransPennine Express and the effort we put in to make sure the Nova 1 fleet goes from strength to strength.”

Paul Sutherland, Client Relations Director, Eversholt Rail said,

“We would like to congratulate TransPennine Express on three years’ successful running of their Nova fleet, including our Nova 2 Class 397 fleet which has provided a step change to the customer experience on services between the North West of England and Scotland.”

Formal launch ceremonies for the fleet were held at both Liverpool Lime Street and York stations back in November 2019.