British Rail Mark 5 (CAF)

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British Rail Mark 5 (CAF)
British Rail Mark 5A (CAF)
TransPennine Exress Mark 5a first test at Crewe.jpg
TransPennine Express Mark 5A DTSO at Crewe
In service2019
Built atBeasain[1][2]
Number built141 (planned)
Operator(s)Caledonian Sleeper
TransPennine Express
Line(s) servedWest Coast Main Line
North TransPennine
Car body constructionFully integral aluminium monocoque
Car lengthCarriages:
22.2 m (73 ft)[3][4]
Mk5A Driving trailers:
22.37 m (73.4 ft)[3]
Width2.75 m (9.0 ft)
DoorsHinged plug
Maximum speedMk5 100 mph (160 km/h)[4]
Mk5A 125 mph (201 km/h)[3]
Weight43 tonnes (max. tare)
Braking system(s)Cheek mounted discs
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Caledonian Sleeper coaches
Transpennine Express coaches

The Mark 5 and Mark 5A is the designation given to new locomotive hauled rail carriages being built for operation by two train operating companies in Great Britain, Caledonian Sleeper and TransPennine Express.[5][6]


Mark 5[edit]

In 2015, the Caledonian Sleeper service, which had formed part of the ScotRail franchise, was split into a separate operation, with Serco as the new franchise operator. As part of the franchise agreement, Serco was committed to procuring new rolling stock to replace the operation's existing fleet of Mark 2 and Mark 3 passenger coaches. In February 2015, Serco signed a €200m deal with CAF to purchase 75 coaches of five different types.[7] These will be formed into a total of four 16-coach trains (London to Fort William, Inverness and Aberdeen, London to Edinburgh and Glasgow, plus the two respective return services), plus 2 coaches for Fort Willam-Edinburgh-Fort William, with 9 coaches as spares, and will be hauled by Class 92 locomotives between London and Glasgow/Edinburgh, and Class 73s on unelectrified routes.[7] The new vehicles will be the first new locomotive hauled passenger coaches introduced onto the British network since the Mark 4 vehicles on the East Coast Main Line as part of the InterCity 225 sets in 1989-1992. The first five cars began testing in the Czech Republic in August 2017,[8] before being delivered to the Polmadie depot in January 2018.[9] The stock was to have been introduced in October 2018,[10] but has been delayed until Spring 2019.[11]

The typical formation of the new trains in service will be similar to the current formation:[12]

4 coaches - Edinburgh to Fort William (Highlander)
6 coaches - Edinburgh to Aberdeen (Highlander)
8 coaches - Carstairs to Edinburgh/Glasgow (Lowlander) and Edinburgh to Inverness (Highlander)
16 coaches - London to Carstairs (Lowlander) and London to Edinburgh (Highlander)

Mark 5A[edit]

In 2016, TransPennine Express announced the procurement of 126 new vehicles from CAF, including 66 Mark 5A locomotive hauled coaches, to be formed into 13 five-coach sets, hauled by Class 68 locomotives. This would equate to twelve sets being in use daily with the thirteenth acting as a spare.[13] These will be used on services between Liverpool and Scarborough and also between Manchester Airport and Middlesbrough from late 2018. Each set will be composed of 1 first class car with guards area and catering provision, 1 Standard class car with PRM toilet, 2 Standard class cars and a standard class driving trailer. In October 2016, production started on these coaches,[14] and in March 2017, CAF and TPE released a photo of the first completed bodyshell.[15] The first completed rake was sent for testing at Velim railway test circuit in March 2018,[16] the second set being delivered straight to the UK in May 2018 via Portbury ahead of their planned entry into service in the autumn of that year.[17][18] TransPennine Express have branded their new trains under the general name Nova, with the Class 68 + Mark 5A combination given the name Nova 3.[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c "FIRST GROUP TRANSPENNINE PASSENGER CARS". CAF. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b "CALEDONIAN SLEEPER PASSENGER COACHES". CAF. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Caledonian Sleeper Franchise Agreement" (PDF). Transport Scotland. May 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  6. ^ Pritchard, Robert (March 2017). "Rolling Stock Update". Today's Railways (183): 38–43.
  7. ^ a b "CAF signs Caledonian Sleeper coach contract". Railway Gazette. 10 February 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Caledonian Sleeper coaches ready for testing". Railway Gazette. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2017.
  9. ^ "First CAF Caledonian Sleeper coaches arrive in Britain". International Railway Journal. 16 January 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Mk5s arrive in UK".
  11. ^ "Important Information for travel". Caledonian Sleeper. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
  12. ^ "The Caledonian Sleepers". 10 February 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  13. ^ Clinnick, Richard (25 April 2018). "Testing...testing...". Rail Magazine. No. 851. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 62. ISSN 0953-4563.
  14. ^ "TransPennine Express coach production begins". Railway Gazette. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  15. ^ "CAF and TPE reveal first Mark 5A bodyshell". Global Rail News. 7 March 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  16. ^ "First Trans-Pennine Express Mk 5A coaches head to Velim". 12 March 2018. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  17. ^ "First TransPennine Express Mk 5As arrive in UK". Rail Magazine. 29 May 2018. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
  18. ^ "First TPE modified Class 68s sent to Spain for initial testing".
  19. ^ TransPennine Express - Together February 2018