CAF trains start UK track testing for Northern

UK track testing of new state-of-the-art CAF-manufactured trains for rail operator Northern is underway.

The test runs on the North West network are part of the first round of dynamic testing in the UK in preparation for the CAF vehicles to be launched into service by the end of the year.

The trains have already undergone initial track testing in the Czech Republic.

Eight vehicles – four Class 195 and four Class 331 vehicles – are stabled at Edge Hill depot in Liverpool, where commissioning work has been undertaken for the last few weeks, getting them ready for this next stage of testing.

Richard Garner, CAF’s UK Director comments: “Track testing of the vehicles in the UK is yet another milestone and takes us a step closer to their launch into passenger service.

“We are confident our high-quality, high-performance trains will deliver the best possible customer experience on this important and busy rail network operated by Northern across the North of England.”

Ben Ackroyd, Northern’s Engineering Director, said: “The first of the new trains arrived in the UK in June; we’ve received a further three since then and we now have two of each type of train here for testing. It’s very rewarding to see the fleet coming together and the start of the UK track testing is really bringing the project to life after months of design and construction work.

“Our rail passengers based in the North West, who get a chance to see the trains as they are tested, are going to see something really special, a real step-change in what Northern offers its customers.”

Steve Timothy, Client Relations Director at Eversholt Rail, said: “We are excited to see our new Class 195 and Class 331 trains arriving in the UK and moving into the testing phase.  We shall continue to work closely with Northern Rail, CAF and local stakeholders to support these trains going into passenger service successfully in 2019.”

CAF is supplying a total of 98 units, comprising 25 two-car and 30 three-car Class 195 diesel multiple units (DMUs) and 31 three-car and 12 four-car Class 331 electric multiple units (EMUs).

Onboard features of the fully-accessible fleet include free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, at-seat power sockets and seat reservation systems.

The trains are owned by Eversholt Rail and leased to Northern as part of the company’s modernisation programme.