The first of the five new Class 802 bi-mode trains being built for Hull Trains at Hitachi’s factory in Pistoia, Italy, is due to arrive in the UK during the first week in September. After testing, it should enter passenger service by the beginning of November.
Hull Trains’ managing director Louise Cheeseman recently visited the Italian factory to see how the new trains were coming along.
“The visit gave us a really good idea of what the trains will look and feel like,” she said. “The first of the five trains is well on its way to completion and it was great to meet the team who are working on them.
“Our trains are very different to what have been produced before in terms of the colours and interiors. The quality of work is excellent and they are bang on time, which is really important and good news for everyone.
“It was quite a nerve wracking moment to see the interiors for the first time because up until now we’ve only seen swatches of seat material and carpets – it’s a bit like buying a house where you imagine what it will look like and then get to see for the first time it all in place.
“I am so pleased to say everything really does look great. We opted for the superior quality of seat material, with no expense spared. Instead of a flat cloth, we chose moquette, which is a deeper pile and you can absolutely see the quality.
“We were so happy with what we saw, there was nothing which caused us any concerns and we were able to agree the final design for the headrests in First Class.
“It really was a special milestone moment being in Italy to see the physical trains having been working off drawings and plans for so long.”
The first two trains to be completed will be coupled up and brought to the UK together – with details of the route and exact dates and timings set to be released in the coming weeks.
The five new Class 802 Hitachi trains will replace the entire current fleet of Class 180s and revolutionise travel from Hull to London.
Louise added: “I’m anticipating we will be the best train operating company in the UK when the new trains are all in service. These trains will revolutionise rail travel between Hull and London and improve reliability across our services.
“The technology involved in the new trains will mean we can continue to run services where overhead wires have been damaged, which has affected services in recent weeks.
“They will be more comfortable and spacious. There is also improved access ability and the storage facilities are better. There will be more seats and the new trains are more environmentally friendly too.”
Once the trains arrive in the UK, Hitachi will carry out test runs before driver training takes place and the trains will then be rolled into the timetable one by one.
The fifth and final train should have arrived in the UK and have entered passenger service by the end of 2019.