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The power cars, five each of which are leased from Angel Trains and Porterbrook, will receive a complete overhaul and be repainted into the striking CrossCountry livery before being introduced into service. They will be fitted with new MTU-built engines to increase reliability, improve fuel efficiency and produce lower emissions.
CrossCountry Managing Director Andy Cooper said: "We're really excited that work is starting on the overhaul of these trains. This is a major step towards meeting our commitment to provide 35% extra seats and increased luggage space on CrossCountry services."
Commenting on the work, Brush Traction Managing Director John Bidewell said: "We are delighted to be working with CrossCountry on this project to improve services and help safeguard the environment."
The work is scheduled to be completed in time for the December 2008 timetable change and the HSTs will be introduced on the Edinburgh to Plymouth route to provide extra capacity along the busy corridor through Leeds.
A contract will be let shortly for the overhaul and refurbishment of the passenger carriages for the five trains. Each will run in service with two power cars and eight carriages.
The MTU engines being fitted are of the type 16V 4000 R41, which give a maximum power of 2,720 kW. This type of engine is widely used on ferries, merchant vessels, yachts, railway vehicles and heavy machinery. They have been developed by MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, Germany and Detroit Diesel Inc, USA.
CrossCountry started operating on 11 November 2007. The franchise, which is the most extensive in the UK, will run until 31 March 2016. For further information on CrossCountry services and future franchise plans log on to www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk
STATIONS SERVED: 124
ROUTE MILES: 1,654
WEEKDAY SERVICES: 279
PASSENGERS CARRIED: Over 30 million passenger journeys a year anticipated
ANNUAL TRAIN MILEAGE: Approximately 16 million
EMPLOYEES: Approximately 1,800
LONGEST TRAIN SERVICE: Penzance to Dundee (701 miles)
CrossCountry is part of the Arriva group which operates transport services in nine European countries, employs more than 37,000 people and provides more than one billion passenger journeys every year. For more information about the Arriva group visit www.arriva.co.uk
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