Could Class 185s be heading for Ireland?

The sight of Class 185 DMUs working in the Irish Republic has become a strong possibility.

Refurbished TPE Class 185 No. 185101 leaving Manchester Piccadilly on August 1, 2017 with the 12.41 to Hull. TONY MILES

This follows the start of a procurement process led by the Irish National Transport Authority (NTA), which is seeking additional ‘pre-owned diesel multiple unit vehicles for passenger operation on the Irish Rail network’. 

Irish Rail has an urgent need for additional capacity, and with 22 of the sets currently working for TransPennine Express due to be released by the start of 2020, as the three new ‘Nova’ fleets enter service, owner Eversholt Leasing has been seeking a new home for its assets.

The invitation to tender document specifies a minimum lease term of seven years or purchase. 

There is no specific mention of the ‘185s’ in the procurement document, but the NTA is looking for between 60 and 80 vehicles “which must be capable of operation in units of three or four vehicles with a driver’s cab at each end”, and they must be available for delivery prior to February 28, 2020. 

Read more in the March 2019 issue of The RM – on sale now!

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