Brand new ultra-modern trains will be calling in at Lancaster from 2019 as TransPennine Express (TPE) gets ready to launch its new fleet.
The trains will operate on routes across the north west and into Scotland from spring 2019.
Paul Grant, chair of Lancaster and Morecambe Rail User Group, welcomed the announcement and said it would relieve pressure on rush hour services between Lancaster and Manchester.
A spokesman for TPE said that the 12 five-carriage trains are being introduced along with two other fleets and together these will deliver 13m more seats per year for customers giving an 80 per cent increase into the north’s five largest cities at the busiest times of day.
The new fleet forms part of an overall £500m investment programme which TPE says will deliver more services, seats and an enhanced experience for customers.
A “transformed on-board experience” includes comfortable seating, plugs and USB points, more luggage space, fast free Wi-Fi and an entertainment system enabling the latest films, news and boxsets to be downloaded straight to phones and devices.
Each train will also feature display screens that provide real time reservations and new catering facilities.
The company’s existing trains are also being treated to a full upgrade.
Mr Grant said: “Transpennine Express trains are notoriously crowded, so anything that can be done to improve that is a good move.
“There are still serious problems leaving Lancaster in the morning in the direction of Manchester, and hopefully these new trains will help solve that problem to some extent.
“As a rail user group we welcome the extra seats and services, but it has to be value for money as well.”
Leo Goodwin, managing director for TransPennine Express said: “This is an exciting step towards providing brand new, state-of-the-art trains plus more seats for rail customers across the north and into Scotland.
“Once ready, these futuristic trains will be some of the most modern in the country and I’m thrilled to be overseeing such an important transformation.”