Hitachi Rail Europe launches new train design heralding the future of commuter travel
22 July 2014 • Author: Hitachi Rail Europe
Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. today revealed its newly designed AT200 commuter train to an audience of 200 rail industry representatives. A life-size replica of the new train design was on show in London, giving attendees a first glimpse of the future of commuting.
Andy Barr, Chief Operating Officer at Hitachi Rail Europe, who unveiled the train, said: “At today’s train reveal, we presented our newly developed commuter train to the rail industry. Our team of engineers and designers have gone to great lengths to take passenger needs, operator requirements and our wealth of experience in train manufacture and maintenance into account. The AT200 is our new, exciting offering to the commuter rail market, a highly standardised yet flexible design that improves the travelling experience for tomorrow’s commuters.”
Developed by Hitachi Rail Europe following close consultation with Train Operating Companies and key stakeholders, the AT200 is a new, modular electric suburban product platform. The concept which gives design flexibility from a range of options, allows operators to tailor trains to passenger needs, while reducing risk and maintaining highly competitive lead times. Famed for its 100% on-time delivery record, Hitachi’s European rail arm is set to continue this success with the introduction of the standardised AT200 train platform.
Passenger needs played a major consideration during the design phase of the AT200. The result is a comfortable passenger environment including inter-vehicle gangways for better use of passenger space, tables and toilet facilities, ambient LED lighting throughout, air conditioning as standard, USB and power sockets available at every seat as well as passenger wifi provision. Adequate luggage storage for commuter travel and cantilever seats in both standard and first class ensure that passengers find enough space for their possessions, while also allowing for fast and efficient cleaning and maintenance.
Ease of maintenance was an additional key consideration of the AT200 design cornerstones. At its core, the train has a high level of onboard diagnostics which continuously and proactively monitor the train and feed back to the maintenance base regarding aspects of its performance. This reduces maintenance, as inspections can be directed according to indications given by the diagnostic system instead of frequent checking. Using Japanese rolling stock maintenance philosophy as successfully demonstrated with the Class 395 Javelin™ trains, Hitachi’s next generation commuter train applies real-time data collection and management solutions to make rapid and efficient maintenance in the shortest possible time a reality.
Hitachi Rail Europe’s new AT200 commuter train can be provided in 3-car to 12-car formations depending on route line requirements. Made of lightweight aluminium alloy extrusions using friction stir welding, the trains are highly resistant to corrosion, further reducing maintenance requirements. The choice of material and welding technique also offers the best of strength and lightness for a highly crashworthy structure.
Hitachi has a proven strategy for managing all statutory and regulatory approvals for new train fleets including testing and passenger service. The AT200 for the UK market includes only proven technology from existing rolling stock products that are either in passenger service or in manufacture, greatly reducing the time to market.
The trains will be manufactured in Hitachi’s new train factory, which is currently under construction in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.