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British train operating company London North-Eastern Railway (LNER) [which is run by the UK Government via its Operator of Last Resort] has announced CAF as the supplier of ten long-distance tri-mode locomotives for placement across the East Coast mainline.

Tri-mode locomotives can operate in battery, electric [pantograph] or diesel modes.

Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) has stated that the project will also include eight years of fleet maintenance services.

The new trains, which are designed for intercity travel, are expected to lower carbon emissions and noise pollution while improving service operation and performance. The new locomotive will further feature “state-of-the-art safety technology”.

The tri-mode trains will join the LNER‘s Hitachi Azuma fleet of 65 trains and are projected to emit 15 times less pollution than domestic flights.

LNER managing director David Horne emphasised the sustainability benefits of the new tri-mode trains.

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Horne said: “Successfully delivering this new fleet is an integral part of LNER’s business plan. 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.

“This new fleet of trains will keep LNER on track to reduce its emissions by 67% by 2035 and be net zero by 2045. LNER has already reduced carbon emissions by 50% compared with 2018/19.”

The fleet will be built at the CAF manufacturing plant in Newport, Wales. The plant, which has been in operation since 2018, employs 220 professionals who perform production procedures ranging from assembly to final acceptance, according to CAF.

Porterbrook has been confirmed as the financier of the new fleet.

UK Rail Minister Huw Merriman emphasised the role of private sector investment and the importance of modernising fleets across the rail sector.

Merriman said: “Replacing ageing rolling stock is crucial to the sustainability, reliability and growth of our rail network and I’m delighted passengers travelling on LNER services will benefit from improved services and greener journeys on these modern trains.

“Private sector investment plays an important role within the UK rail industry and this order will help drive economic growth across the country while supporting skilled jobs.”

No further technical specifications of the trains have been made public.