The four-car trains will start to replace three-car dmus on the route on December 30 following completion of electrification at 25kV ac between Manchester and the junction with the West Coast Main Line at Newton Le Willows. Each train will have 210 seats in standard class and 19 in first class.

Although the trains are designed for operation at 177km/h, they will be restricted to 160km/h so journey times between Manchester and Scotland will not be reduced significantly. All 10 trains will be in service in time for the start of the summer timetable in May 2014 when the number of trains on the route will be increased from 15 to 19 per day.

Siemens is also supplying 10 class 350/3 emus to London Midland for operation at 177km/h on the southern part of the WCML under the same contract with rolling stock leasing company, Angel Trains. The contract for the two fleets was worth €170m when it was awarded in February 2012.