Avanti West Coast Class 805s Enter Service

Avanti West Coast Class 805s Enter Service
The first class 805 'Evero' train set entered service on 2 June 2024. Photo: Avanti West Coast.

Yesterday (2 June 2024), new timetables were rolled out across the network by train operating companies. For Avanti West Coast, this also meant the introduction of their new class 805 'Evero' bi-mode multiple units (BMUs). These train sets will be replacing the ageing class 221 'Super Voyagers', with the BMUs initially serving passengers along Avanti's London to North Wales route.

The order for the class 805s from Hitachi Rail was placed in December 2019, and mainline testing commenced in February 2023. Since then, the BMUs have been spotted in various locations across the network, although only yesterday was the first unit introduced to revenue earning service.

Avanti is set to acquire 13 of these five-car units, but these have not all been constructed and accepted yet. Six class 805 train sets will begin operating passenger services on weekdays, with the remainder entering the network as and when they are ready and have passed testing. The £350 million fleet will be maintained at Oxley depot in Wolverhampton.

The interior of Avanti's class 805 with rows of modern seating and dark blue upholstery with light blue head rests. There are overhead luggage racks and large windows on both sides. There are white grab handles along the edges of the seats.
Standard class features a 2+2 arrangement with a mix of table and airplane-style 'ergonomic' seats. Photo: Myaj47 via Wikimedia Commons (CC0).

The 'Evero' family of rolling stock will also include the class 807; there are a couple key differences between the two. First, the class 805 is capable of bi-modal operation (i.e., electric or diesel, depending on the route), whereas the class 807s are electric multiple units (EMUS). And second, a class 805 train set consists of five cars, whereas the class 807s have greater capacity with seven cars per unit. That said, two class 805s can be coupled to form a ten-car train.

On-board you will find the usual mix of airplane-style and table seats in standard class, arranged in a 2+2 configuration. On the backs of the airplane-style seats are fold-down tables. First class seating is available as well, where there are larger tables at every seat. The total number of 299 seats on a five-car train (double that for a ten-car set formed of two five-car units — it's 598).

There are accessible toilets, and accessible (including wheelchair) seating areas have been designated near these toilets. These can be found at either end of the train, with one accessible toilet and seating area in first class and the other set in standard class. The accessible toilets include baby changing facilities. Plus, the Evero trains have an on-board shop and water refill points, and there is space for bikes (these spaces need to be reserved).

A class 805 Evero is travelling down a coastal railway track with its teal and white livery. In the near distance is a rocky shoreline. Beyond the stretch of water are distant hills under a clear, blue sky.
The class 805 adopts a similar livery to that seen on Avanti's class 390 'Pendolinos'. Photo: Avanti West Coast.
"The introduction of our new timetable and the Evero fleet marks an exciting new chapter for our people and customers.

“The investment is also a key part of our plans to support the UK rail industry, and our wider commitment to improve customer experience on the West Coast Main Line.”

Andy Mellors, Managing Director, Avanti West Coast