UK-based rail operator Northern, a subsidiary of Arriva UK Trains, has introduced the first nine CAF trains into service.

These trains will be operating across routes between Doncaster and Leeds, Cumbria and Manchester Airport,  and Liverpool to Manchester Airport.

Overall, the train operator will introduce 101 trains under a £500m rolling stock investment plan.

The acquisition of the fleet, which includes Class 195 and Class 331 variants, is funded by Eversholt Rail Group.

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Northern deputy managing director Richard Allan said: “These new trains are the biggest investment in local rail services in the North for a generation and the whole Northern team is very proud and honoured to be able to introduce them to our customers on three of our routes from 1 July.

“These new trains represent a huge improvement in design, quality and overall experience for our customers.”

The remaining trains will be introduced into services at monthly intervals across various routes through this year and into next year.

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Each of these trains is equipped with air-conditioning, at-seat power outlets, free Wi-Fi, and customer information/media screens with real-time information.

These vehicles also feature separate spaces for wheelchair and cycles. Spanish rolling stock manufacturer CAF is building the trains in Spain and Wales.

Eversholt Rail client relations director Steve Timothy said: “It’s fantastic to see these new trains now entering service.  It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work over three years between Arriva Rail North, Eversholt Rail, CAF and other regional and national stakeholders to make it happen for the Northern customer.”

The trains will replace the older fleet of Pacer trains, which are expected to be phased out by the end of this year.