Hitachi Rail will continue providing maintenance services for Transpennine Express’ Nova 1 trains in the UK after signing an eight-year contract worth £240m ($309.9m) with Transpennine Trans Limited and Angel Trains. 

The contract covers the rail operator’s 19 Hitachi-built Nova 1 intercity Class 802 trains which were first brought to the UK in 2018 and introduced into service in 2019. 

Transpennine Express’ fleet, safety and service delivery director Paul Staples highlighted the longstanding relationship between the two companies: “We rely on Hitachi as a strategic partner to help us put customers at the heart of everything that we do and ensure that our Nova 1 trains offer the best journey experience when people choose to travel with us.” 

The trains, which offer 161 more seats than their predecessors, operate between Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh with 70% more reliability than the industry average, according to Hitachi. 

The cars and locomotives will continue to be serviced in depots across Scotland and the north of England, supporting over 550 jobs. 

Hitachi Rail’s chief director of UK and Ireland Jim Brewin said the contract was a recognition of the company’s maintenance team and the success of its existing collaborations with Transpennine. 

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The contract follows another success for Hitachi and its maintenance operations in the UK as it signed a £300m ($387m) contract extension with Great Western Railway and Eversholt Rail. 

The rail manufacturer also affirmed its relationships with LNER and Agility Trains through a relationship charter outlining shared value across the three companies until 2046.