THE FIRST electric passenger trains have debuted in Bolton after years of delays.

The introduction of Northern's electrically-powered fleet has been repeatedly pushed back due to problems with engineering work but a limited number of four-carriage sets finally began operating this week.

Jeff Davies, chair of the Bolton Rail Users Group, says the new trains will help to deal with overcrowding problems out of Bolton's stations and bring an end to the widely disliked Pacers.

He said: "It is very unfortunate that the electrification took so long, which played a significant part in the troubles which afflicted Northern and its passengers last year, but Northern and Network Rail staff have worked hard over the past weeks to get all the testing and training done and bring the new electric trains into service."

Northern's 98-train fleet, a mix of electric and diesel trains, is set to be brought into service across the North of England throughout the remainder of the year.

The new stock includes wifi, air conditioning, at-seat power sockets and a seat reservation system.