The trains, which are being procured through rolling stock leasing company Angel Trains, will enter service in 2019 on the route linking Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The trains are fitted with MTU diesel engines supplied by Rolls-Royce and can operate at a maximum speed of 200km/h in diesel mode. Although the trains are capable of operating at 225km/h with electric traction, they will be restricted to 200km/h. The trains are fitted with ERTMS cab signalling in preparation for the introduction of ERTMS on the route.

Each five-car train will seat 161 more passengers than the three-car Siemens class 185 DMUs which they will replace, and two sets will be able to operate in multiple. The trains will have Wi-Fi and an Exstream on-board entertainment system to enable passengers to stream the latest films and television programmes free of charge.