TPE begins testing Mk5a carriage sets on WCML

TESTING has started on the West Coast Main Line of the first fixed formation of an order for 13
five-car carriage rakes from CAF for use with TransPennine Express.

The sets, known by TPE as ‘Nova3’, are being hauled by Class 68 locos provided to TPE by Direct Rail Services.

Each set has a driving trailer with passenger accommodation.

TPE is sub-leasing 14 locos, and with the new Mk 5a stock, will initially be used on Liverpool
Lime Street to Newcastle services before transferring to the Manchester Airport-
Middlesbrough service in 2019.

In its smart TPE livery, No. 68020 Reliance approaches Ashton, Northants, with train 3B02, the 05.16 Manchester International Depot-Bletchley sidings on September 13. KEVIN PAYNE

Twelve sets will be diagrammed, with the 13th being a maintenance spare.

The Mk5a sets are arriving in the UK at Portbury, before being moved to TPE’s Manchester depot.

Each set has one First Class car with guard’s space, plus a catering area, three Standard Class trailer cars (one with an accessible toilet), and a driving trailer with Standard Class seats.

Testing paths from Manchester International Depot to Carlisle via Wigan, then south to Bletchley and back to Manchester via Earlestown, as well as Manchester to Bletchley direct via Wilmslow with a return via Northampton and Earlestown, are in the train-planning system, but testing so far has tended to use the Manchester to Bletchley direct option.

TPE has not indicated when the first of the sets will enter service.

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