New TransPennine Express Mk5A train revealed

By Keith Fender

TRANSPENNINE Express presented its new CAF-built Mk5A ‘Nova 3’ push-pull trains to stakeholders and media in mid-April at the Velim test centre in the Czech Republic, where dynamic testing of the new train with Class 68 locos began on April 11.

CAF is building 13 five-coach rakes of carriages as permanently coupled sets, connected by bar couplers, as found on modern EMUs.

An additional spare DTS (Driving Trailer Standard) vehicle has been ordered to provide a spare in case one of the sets hits an obstruction and is damaged.

TPE Mk5A set at Velim on April 12, with No. 68021 on the rear. All pictures: Keith Fender

This will allow the set to return to use within a short time, particularly if repairs are needed to the damaged DTS vehicle.

Each set – branded as a ‘Nova 3′ by TPE – has a Driving Trailer Standard vehicle equipped with a cab that, internally, is a close copy of the one found in the Class 68s.

Kitchen area

There are three Standard Open vehicles per set, one of which is equipped with a storage area for four bikes or six tip-up seats if the bike space is not being used. The vehicle at the loco end of the set is a combined First Class and kitchen vehicle (TF) which will be used to provide at-seat service in First Class. The kitchen area is equipped with ovens and coffee machines plus a small food preparation area. It is also equipped with a water tank system that holds drinking water and a system to automatically fill and heat hot water urns.

The train only has one accessible toilet, located in the First Class coach, meaning that wheelchair users will be effectively given a free upgrade.

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