Bi-mode test train makes first run to Inverness
A bi-mode Class 800/1 reached Inverness for the first time on December 15, carrying out a test from Doncaster. This is the first time an Intercity Express Programme (IEP) train has run north of Edinburgh - it ran under diesel power, with overhead line electrification ending west of the Scottish capital.
GB Railfreight operated the test train using ninecar 800101, which left Yorkshire at 0844 and arrived at Inverness at 1731, eight minutes late. It departed at 1915 (two minutes late) and arrived at Doncaster at 0233 (37 minutes early).
No exact date has been given, but Virgin Trains East Coast said that the first IEPs will serve five of Scotland’s seven cities from 2019. The first VTEC Class 800/801s enter traffic in December ( RAIL 837).
Hitachi Rail Europe is building 65 trains for VTEC, with £18 million being spent on modernising depots at Aberdeen, Inverness and Craigentinny for the trains.
Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands in Scotland, said: “Developments like this make train travel a more attractive choice across the north and east of Scotland. This, in turn, can help drive the modal shift to rail as a regular option we are all keen to see delivered.”
Hitachi Rail Europe 800101 stands at Inverness on December 15 2017, having completed a test run from Doncaster, thereby becoming the first IEP Class 800 to operate north of Edinburgh.