The first vehicle of railway operator Northern’s new Class 195 train fleet has arrived in the UK from Spain.

Rolling stock manufacturer CAF is currently building 98 such units as part of a £500m contract.

Owned by Eversholt Rail, the Class 195 trains are leased to Northern in a bid to support its modernisation plans.

The new train was shipped to Portbury in Bristol and will now be transported to the Merseyside area for final works. Once completed, the train will be tested on the UK rail network.

“Northern’s engineering and operations teams have worked hard to produce a design that will deliver a real improvement in our customers’ onboard experience.”

Eversholt Rail CEO Mary Kenny said: “As owners of this new fleet of Class 195 trains, we are excited about moving into the next phase of the project and look forward to working together with our partners Northern and CAF on the UK commissioning and testing of these new trains.”

The fully-accessible Class 195 train fleet will feature air conditioning, power sockets near the seats, free Wi-Fi services and an electronic seat reservation system.

Northern engineering director Ben Ackroyd said: “Getting the train onto UK soil is a major milestone in our modernisation programme.

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“Northern’s engineering and operations teams have worked hard to produce a design that will deliver a real improvement in our customers’ onboard experience. I’m excited to see the first of them go into service at the end of the year.”

Northern also plans to remove its Pacer trains, refurbish other existing trains and lease new units to provide better services to passengers by 2020.