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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Northern’s new trains get better and better

Rail passengers across the north of England are benefitting from 100 newly introduced trains and improved service reliability.

Northern, who in the last 2 years have delivered £500m worth of brand-new trains onto the network have been awarded a prestigious engineering and maintenance accolade. 

The annual ‘Golden Spanner’ awards recognise rail operators across the country whose trains have performed the best and most reliably.  

Northern’s new electric and diesel trains, which started to be operated in 2019, have now covered more than 30 million miles in service and the modern fleet has been acknowledged as being one of the best in the UK. 

New trains can sometimes be slower to reach reliability benchmarks as crews and engineers need to learn new ways of operating and maintenance and glitches need to be identified and rectified.  

But Northern’s new c195s and c331s have settled extremely well with out of service incidents extremely low and repairs completed quickly to ensure they are back on the network serving customers as soon as possible. 

Official data shows that on average a new Northern train suffers a fault only once every 11,000 miles – an impressive performance for a new fleet and a near 100% improvement on 2020’s figures. 

Jack Commandeur, Engineering Director at Northern said: “We are absolutely delighted with the Golden Spanner award. 

“New trains can take time to settle but everyone at Northern has worked so hard to make our brand-new fleet one of the best performing in the country and I want to thank our operations, maintenance and engineering teams for their excellent work. 

“We are able to deploy our fantastic fleet of new trains the huge majority of the time and that is great news for our customers across the north.” 

Northern’s new trains were built by Spanish manufacturer CAF and are maintained at sites in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds and feature free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, at-seat power and customer information/media screens with real-time information. They are also more spacious and fully accessible, with spaces for wheelchairs and bikes.   

The modern fleet serves locations across the north of England, including Barnsley, Barrow, Blackpool, Bolton, Bradford, Chester, Doncaster, Halifax, Leeds, Lincoln, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, Preston, Rochdale, Sheffield, Warrington, Wigan, Windermere and York. 

Jack added: “We are very fortunate to have a great train partner in CAF and this award is testament to what a positive and collaborative relationship can achieve.” 

Photo credit: Northern

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