KEY transport figures have welcomed the first images of ‘vastly superior’ new trains due to come to Bolton.

Last week, The Bolton News was granted exclusive access to Northern Rail’s new fleet of trains being built in Spain.

And, while ongoing delays to the electrification of the town’s railway line mean there is a cloud of uncertainty over when the modern carriages will arrive in Bolton, Cllr David Chadwick was enthused by the news.

The council’s cabinet member for transport said: “I have seen the photographs of the new trains and they look brilliant.

“They are vastly superior to what we have now.

“It is like chalk and cheese when you compare them to the pacer trains.”

Northern’s new fleet will be fully introduced in the UK in 2020, when the outdated pacer trains will be removed.

Jeff Davies, chairman of the Bolton Rail Users Group, said: “This is all good news. It has been on the way for a long time and I have been trying to assure people of that. We cannot, however, be clear on just how soon we will be getting these trains in Bolton, but they should help give us a better service.”

Bolton West MP Chris Green added: “Any infrastructure project takes a long time to complete because there is so much engineering and building work that needs doing.

“It is so positive to see these carriages nearing completion and ready for testing before deployment once the electrification is finished.

“I am delighted to see this progress and look forward to the day when these trains are improving journeys in and around Bolton.”