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Northern’s new CAF built Class 195s have entered passenger service through the Calder Valley today on the routes from Leeds – Chester and Leeds – Manchester Victoria. Needless to say, I’m out with the camera to capture pictures of this important milestone. It’s the culmination of improvements to the line that have seen the route resignalled, linespeeds increased and platforms lengthened.

I’ll be adding pictures throughout the day. Here’s the first as 195123 picks up passengers at Sowerby Bridge whilst working the 10:22 from Chester to Leeds.


10.35.

I’ve caught a late-running Chester service which is worked by 195110. These trains are certainly a step-change to the old BR built units we’ve been used to since the 1980s! They’ve far superior acceleration and braking, not to mention all the facilities that passengers have come to expect nowadays, such as power sockets and free wifi. They’ve also got far more seating bays with tables.

22:36.

Sorry folks, It didn’t turn out to be much of a rolling blog as I was too busy taking pictures! Since I got home earlier this evening I’ve been busy editing them, so here’s a small selection. You can find the full gallery here on my Zenfolio website.

1J06, the 0957 Wigan Wallgate to
Leeds worked by 150275 and 158901 passes 195002 just outside Todmorden. The 195 was working 2M10, the 1018 Leeds to
Manchester Victoria. 1J06 should have run from Southport but was cancelled due to late running. Sadly, that’s something the new trains are having no impact on!
A few hours later 195002 passes Gauxholme whilst working 2E13, the 1158 Manchester Victoria to Leeds
3-car 195123 arrives at Walsden with 2M12, the 1118 Leeds to
Manchester Victoria.
Another late runner was 195103 on 1E60, the 1124 Chester to
Leeds which was 21 mins late by the time it reached Todmorden at 13.06.
Meanwhile, at Halifax, here’s a couple of shots of 2M20, the 1518 Leeds to
Manchester Victoria, worked by 195110.

For the number crunchers, the list of units seen in passenger service is as follows. Two car 195002 and 195007. Three car 195103. 195110. 195111. 195119. 195121 and 195123.