Hitachi has delivered the first of TransPennine Express’s Nova 1 train fleet to the UK from its Japanese facility.

The train reached the Port of Southampton following the completion of a two-month journey from Japan through sea route.

Hitachi Rail Europe projects director Berry Sas said: “Today is another important milestone as we deliver pioneering new trains for millions of passengers in the North and Scotland. We will begin our rigorous test programme in the coming weeks, which I’m sure will excite passengers and enthusiasts along the route.”

As part of a deal with First Group for TransPennine Express signed in 2016, Hitachi will deliver 19 five-carriage trains equipped with Japanese bullet train technology.

Scheduled to become operational from next year, the fleet will connect major cities situated in the north of England and Scotland.

“Today is another important milestone as we deliver pioneering new trains for millions of passengers in the North and Scotland.”

The new trains comprise 161 additional seats compared to the existing operating fleet.

Equipped with MTU engines from Rolls-Royce, the whole fleet will be hybrid and will therefore run on both electric and diesel power.

They also feature additional leg room, luggage space and better onboard facilities to improve the passengers’ travelling experience.

Each of these trains will provide fast and free Wi-Fi for standard and first class passengers and will have an onboard entertainment system to allow passengers to watch movies or TV shows while travelling.

The trains can run at a maximum speed of 140mph in electric mode and 125mph when using diesel engines.