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WATCH: The new trains seen on route to Cornwall

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1:38pm 17th November 2017
(Updated 1:38pm 17th November 2017)

A new high-speed train has been spotted in Cornwall during what is believed to have been its first test run.

Thomas Mills took this photo of the Intercity Express at Dawlish, which was later seen in Bodmin.

Pirate FM understands the Class 802, which is part of the new Great Western Railway fleet, was on its way to Penzance.

Hitachi began work on the new trains, which use the same technology as the Japanese bullet, back in February.

Almost 100 are being built for Great Western Railway, including 36 new trains to connect London to the Duchy.

Watch the magic moment the first pulled into Penzance, during a state-of-the-art test...

The first wave of Intercity Express trains will run on the Great Western main line, connecting London to UK cities including Reading, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff.

From 2018, a second wave of new trains will begin running as far south as Penzance along coastal routes in Devon and Cornwall.

The entire fleet of 93 trains will be in passenger service by the end of 2019.

Officials say passengers can expect more seats, better on-board facilities and the possibility of shorter journey times.

They will also benefit from new on-board technology, including real-time journey updates and seat reservation screens.

The fleet is fitted with bi-mode technology, allowing trains to use diesel and electric power, meaning even whilst infrastructure modernisation takes place passengers can enjoy the benefits of the new trains.

The fleet’s design ensures it can withstand the region’s weather conditions, including routes along the Dawlish coast.

The maiden voyage to Cornwall in June was part of a special journey from London Paddington to Penzance and you can watch the trains in action below...


As part of an expo event with Cornwall Council in the summer, the Intercity Express Train (IET) left London Paddington at 0533am and arrived at Penzance Station just after 11am.

Councillor Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The new fleet forms part of a £400m package of rail investment that we are working with GWR and Network Rail to deliver.

"It will transform rail services on our mainline network and, in doing so, provide a key element of the Council’s proposals for a One Public Transport System in Cornwall".

GWR Commercial Development Director Matthew Golton said: "We know how important the railway is to the economies and communities of the South West, and today's event marks another milestone in delivering the improvements we know our passengers wish to see.

"These trains will help us deliver faster, more frequent services into the South West, providing up to a fifth more seats per train".

The new rolling stock replaces the 40-year-old trains currently serving this key intercity route.

This will mean additional seats into and out of the west of England and will help speed up typical journey times from London by five minutes to Exeter, six minutes to Plymouth and 14 minutes to Penzance.

Sandra Rothwell, Chief Executive of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Good connectivity is vital to business and the growth of our economy which is why we have made rail investment one of our top priorities.

"These fantastic new GWR trains, coupled with ongoing investment from the LEP and its partners in signalling, station upgrades and WiFi, will transform main line rail services in Cornwall with increased frequency, more comfort and faster journey times".

Mark Langman, Route Managing Director of Network Rail, said: “Improving the signalling, upgrading stations and preparing the railway for the Intercity Express Trains marks a real milestone in the modernisation of the railway in the South West, as we continue to deliver our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“Passengers, communities and the local economy will feel real benefits with extra services, more seats, greater comfort and a more reliable railway in Devon and Cornwall".

Ahead of the fleet of trains arriving in the south-west, Network Rail has invested £47 million to prepare the railway for the new Intercity Express Trains.

The modernisation includes a £25 million signalling upgrade as part of the Cornwall Capacity Enabling Scheme, which has been part funded by Cornwall Council. This scheme includes 21 additional signals added to the line and seven level crossing upgrades. 

The extra signalling will allow for more trains to be on the track, and will be controlled locally from the existing signal boxes at Plymouth, Lostwithiel and Roskear.

A further £12m has been invested for de-vegetation in Devon and Cornwall and another £10m for gauge clearance as well as Totnes and Devonport platform extensions.

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Dozens gathered to see the Intercity Express Train in Penzance, which has new on-board technology, including real-time journey updates and seat reservation screens.

As well as the first visit from an IET, visitors have had the chance to look at a new and improved Night Riviera sleeper berth.

The Night Riviera service is being modernised and will include a new seated carriage and a cocktail bar.

Not to mention refreshed berths with hotel style keyless door entry, USB charging ports and a host of other improvements.

Watch the new sleeper in action...

1:38pm 17th November 2017

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