posted on 6th Aug 2023 16:16
On 26 July 2023 Avanti West Coast’s new Hitachi-built fleet marked another major milestone with its first journey to North Wales as part of its rigorous test programme. Two Class 805 bi-mode trains travelled from the West Midlands to Llandudno Junction, with stops at Chester and Rhyl, before heading back to its depot.This first stage of testing is being undertaken by Hitachi Rail to ensure the sets work to the best of their ability before being handed over to Avanti West Coast to operate them.
Part of testing was to ensure the bilingual Passenger Information Systems are displaying the correct information. Avanti West Coast provides on-board passenger information in Welsh and English throughout the journey to and from London. Further trips to Chester and North Wales are planned as the engineers check the fleet’s compatibility with the route and its whole infrastructure, including to the port terminus of Caergybi/Holyhead.
The new trains are expected to enter service across Avanti West Coast network from 2023. They will eventually replace the Voyager DMUs, lowering the amount of diesel used by only utilising the fuel when there are no overhead wires to supply electricity. The 350 million GBP project will deliver a fleet of ten seven-car EMUs and 13 five-car EDMUs. The Class 807 electric trains will operate between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool while the Class 805 bi-mode version will be focused on the London to North Wales route.