LONDON North Eastern Railway (LNER) has confirmed CAF as the successful bidder for a contract to supply 10 new 10-car tri-mode trains for operation on Britain’s East Coast Main Line (ECML).

The new fleet is based on the supplier’s Civity platform and will be assembled at CAF’s plant in Newport. The contract also includes an eight-year maintenance agreement with an option to extend with the fleet set to be maintained at a facility in the north of England.

The trains will be equipped with pantographs and will use a combination of diesel and battery or solely battery power when operating on non-electrified lines, including when entering and leaving stations, eliminating harmful NOx emissions. The trains will be able to transition from electric to self-power mode when the train is stationary or in motion.

LNER says the electric-battery-diesel trains will offer various benefits, including reduced emissions, particulates, noise and vibrations as well as a reducing maintenance and operating costs. The train’s “upgradeable technology” is also expected to offer an increase in range and performance as the technology develops further, LNER adds.

In addition, they will be equipped with onboard ETCS equipment supplied by CAF Signalling. Work is underway to switch the southern section of the ECML to ETCS as part of the East Coast Digital Programme by 2029.

Rolling stock leasing company Porterbrook will finance and own the new fleet, which will complement LNER’s existing Azuma fleet of 23 class 800 bi-mode and 42 class 801 EMUs supplied by Hitachi Rail. LNER also operates eight nine-car Intercity 225 trains comprising class 91 electric locomotives and Mk 4 coaches.

LNER says that further details of when the fleet can be expected in service across its 1538km network “will follow in due course.” It adds that the new trains will keep LNER on its path to reducing emissions by 67% by 2035 and to be net-zero by 2045. The operator says it has already reduced its emissions by 50% since 2018-19.

“Successfully delivering this new fleet is an integral part of LNER’s Business Plan,” says Mr David Horne, LNER managing director. “Our focus is ensuring we create a fleet that truly matches the needs of all our customers, with clear targets on setting new standards for comfort, accessibility, and exceptional customer service.”

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