Operator TransPennine Express launched its Nova fleet of rolling stock in a ceremony at Lime Street Station in Liverpool.
The roll-out of the full £500m project has been delayed due to a series of problems.
The fleet of 44 trains, which will have hundreds of extra seats, will cover three routes including services from Scarborough and Middlesbrough via Leeds to Manchester and Liverpool.
TransPennine passengers on services between Cleethorpes, Doncaster and Sheffield to Manchester and Liverpool will not be served by the new rolling stock.
Instead trains from the other lines will be moved to the route as they are superseded by the new fleet.
Each new train has five carriages – a significant increase in capacity. Bosses say they will make journeys across the North smoother and more reliable
Leo Goodwin, managing director of TransPennine Express, said: “The name Nova reflects the positive changes that will transform rail travel for our customers, with an increase in capacity of 80 per cent on all routes.”
Services between Newcastle and Liverpool via York and Leeds will have 342 seats, nearly double existing trains, can be operated using diesel or electric power and incorporate modern bullet-train technology.
Trains on the route from Middlesbrough and Scarborough to Liverpool will have 287 seats, up by 106.
Each train has more luggage space and charging points, free wi-fi and an entertainment system showing TV, news and films.
The new trains were due to have been introduced earlier this year.
Richard Garner, CAF UK Director, said: "CAF is extremely proud to be part of a hugely successful team approach between our company, TPE, Eversholt Rail and Beacon Rail Leasing which sees the Nova 2 and Nova 3 entering passenger service. These high quality, high performance trains will provide TPE customers across the North of England and Scotland with a transformed onboard experience, making a real difference to this important and busy rail network."
Mary Kenny, CEO at Eversholt Rail, said: “We are delighted to see our newest fleet of trains introduced to passengers in the North. This is the culmination of a lot of hard work from the teams at TransPennine Express, CAF and Eversholt Rail over the past three and a half years and we are excited to enter the next phase to bring these trains into passenger service. Our Nova 2 fleet will help to turn TPE’s ‘Take the North Further’ vision into reality.”
Kevin Tribley, CEO at Angel Trains, said: “The introduction of the Nova 1 fleet is a significant milestone which will see the Northern Powerhouse connected with new top-of-the-range trains. By investing in and developing trains that improve passenger experience between major cities across the North, we’re taking strides towards creating the railway of the future that modern Britain deserves. We are incredibly proud of our team and would like to thank our partners Hitachi and TransPennine Express for all their hard work in making this project a success.”