Rail passengers are set to benefit from better and faster journeys after the government gave the go-ahead for a brand-new fleet of trains running between London and Cornwall. The privately-funded £360 million fleet, which will be manufactured by Hitachi, will also cut journey times from London to Exeter by up to 5 minutes, to Plymouth by up to 6 minutes, and to Penzance by up to14 minutes.
The deal will allow First Great Western to buy 29 new long-distance trains to serve the south west from 2018. The privately-funded £360 million fleet will be manufactured by Hitachi. The state-of-the-art trains will have up to 24% more seats compared to the majority of the High Speed Trains serving the route today, creating more than 1,000 additional seats at peak times across the route every day. The trains, which are more powerful, greener and more efficient than the current fleet, will replace the existing 40-year-old trains on the route.
First Great Western put forward the plans for the new trains as part of the deal with the government, announced in March, that sees the operator continue to run services between London Paddington, the Cotswolds, South Wales and the south west until April 2019.