East Midlands Railway (EMR) franchise winner Abellio UK has placed a £400 million order with County Durham-based Hitachi Rail (www.hitachirail-eu.com
) to build a new fleet of intercity trains.
Due to start operating in 2022, these trains will serve Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and London St Pancras (as well as Lincoln and Kettering).
Abellio UK’s managing director, Dominic Booth, said: “These new trains form the centrepiece of our ambitious plans to replace all the trains on the EMR.
“In response to what our passengers want, they will provide more frequent services, faster journeys and more capacity — with 80% more seats into London in the morning peak.”
Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail UK, said: “This announcement will be welcomed in workshops and engineering centres around the country, thanks to our large network of UK suppliers.
"Our train factory in Newton Aycliffe sources train parts from around the country, including a significant amount from the region where the new trains will run.
"Hitachi is delighted that EMR passengers will soon be receiving the very latest model of our new intercity trains, which are already proving popular and increasing satisfaction among passengers in other parts of the country.”
Abellio has ordered 33 five-carriage trains, which will regularly be operated in 10-carriage formations. They will feature air conditioning, free Wi-Fi throughout and better information screens, plus an improved catering service.
Since opening in 2015, Hitachi’s ‘state of the art’ manufacturing facility has delivered over 450 intercity train carriages into passenger service in the UK.
Based on Japanese bullet train technology, the new fleet for EMR is the sixth intercity fleet that Hitachi will deliver to UK train operators.