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Monday 17 May 2021 saw the much-delayed start of Class 769 operation by Northern. These 4-car units were built as Class 319 with dual voltage 25 kV AC and 750 V DC operation; they have been modified by adding diesel engines and associated equipment under the Driving Cars, and modified traction equipment in the motor coach. The original late-1980s GEC Traction GTO chopper control of four G315 DC series traction motors has been retained. Performance in diesel mode appears to be about the same as 2x 2-car Class 150 DMUs, as intended.
The intention is to use the 769s on two Southport service `groups`, hourly to both Stalybridge and to Alderley Edge. At present Stalybridge workings only use AC mode between Bolton and Manchester Victoria and v.v., and the Alderley Edge workings use AC for the rather longer distance between Bolton and Alderley Edge and v.v. Some peak-hour workings run via Atherton, so change modes at Salford Crescent.