A new fleet of 125mph electric trains operating between Manchester and Scotland will be launched by 2019, it has been announced.
The new trains, worth £120m, will be financed by Eversholt Rail, leased to TransPennine Express (TPE), and run between Liverpool and Manchester to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
TPE’s Managing Director, Leo Goodwin said: “This is great news for our customers and we are delighted to have concluded the deals that will bring much needed and much wanted extra carriages across our network”.
Passengers can expect to see a sizeable cut in travel times between cities in the north, with new trains also being rolled out between Liverpool and Newcastle.
With 13m more seats provided each year, the expansion provided by the new fleet will be enough to fill the Old Trafford stadium more than 150 times.
Councillor Liam Robinson, Chair of the Rail North Limited Board, spoke of the impact the new services will have on the economy in both Manchester and the North in general.
He said, “To support long-term economic growth and prosperity, the North needs a modern, high-quality rail service connecting towns and cities.
“We need a lot more capacity with new routes and additional journey opportunities, seven days a week. Passengers want an end to overcrowding and an improved travel experience”.
TPE have also promised their trains will have free Wi-Fi and media servers, advanced on-board customer information, more spacious seating, and power sockets at every seat.