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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 12:02 GMT
Rail firm orders 23 new trains
New train artist's impression
The trains will create an additional 210 jobs
A train company has placed a 160m order for 23 high-speed trains.

Midland Mainline said the deal will add an extra 10,000 seats a day to its services and create 210 jobs.

The trains, which boast top speeds of 125mph, will also offer the best modern facilities to commuters - including powerpoints for laptop computers and "at-seat" entertainment.

It is expected the new vehicles will be running from South Yorkshire and the East Midlands to London's St Pancras station by 31 January 2005.

The trains will be built by Bombardier at their plants in Wakefield in Yorkshire and Bruges in Belgium.

Interior of new train - artist's impression
The trains offer commuters modern facilities

Alan Wilson, the managing director of Midland Mainline, said: "We have set out to order trains that not only fulfill our passenger's requirements, but also to ensure we can bring thousands more travellers to Midland Mainline.

"With passenger growth of 56% during the past five years, the new trains will help to deliver much-needed capacity as well as reflecting our ongoing commitment to ever improving levels of customer service."

More jobs

The Class 222 four and nine-car units will be named Meridian and replace the current Turbostar fleet by January 2005.

About 130 jobs will be created on Midland Mainline as a result of staffing the additional trains, together with an extra 80 manufacturing posts at Bombardier.

Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) chairman Richard Bowker said "Launching the SRA's Strategic Plan last month, I said that there is real enthusiasm from the private sector to invest in the railways.

"Today's announcement confirms this commitment, and is great news for travellers on this vital route between London, the Midlands and Yorkshire".

See also:

14 Jan 02 | UK Politics
Rail masterplan unveiled
21 Dec 01 | UK
Train fares to rise
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