The first of a new fleet of trains that will operate out of Euston station has entered static testing at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
The new Class 805 bi-mode trains will replace an older fleet of diesel Class 221 trains operated by Avanti West Coast that primarily run from London Euston to Scotland via Birmingham New Street (despite the route being electrified throughout) and, from London Euston to Shrewsbury and, London Euston to Chester and North Wales.
The new fleet will be a mix of ten seven-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains, with the ability to switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power. The electric trains (Class 807) will operate between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool while the bi-mode version will be focused on the London to North Wales route
Last week, carriages from a Class 805 bi-mode train were coupled together for the first time to mark the start of the testing program ahead of the planned entry into service in 2023. All basic functionality of the train, from brakes to engines, doors to toilets, will be put through their paces prior to the start of dynamic testing later in the year, when the trains will move under their own power for the first time.
The new Hitachi trains offer more space and a quieter journey compared to the diesel-only Voyager trains they replace. This will lead to a 61 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. Customers will also get a more reliable free Wi-Fi, at-seat wireless charging for electronic devices, plug sockets and USB slots; and real-time passenger information system that can advise customers of connecting rail services.
The new trains and their long-term maintenance will cost £ 350 million.
The first of the trains are due to come into service next year.