95 AT300 Inter-City rail carriages ordered for TransPennine Express
1 April 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Today FirstGroup began operations on the new TransPennine Express franchise. As part of its rail investment programme, First has finalised a contact with Hitachi which will lead to the procurement of 19 five-car Hitachi AT300 bi-mode trains, capable of operating on both electric power and diesel power. The agreement will be financed by train leasing company Angel Trains.
The new AT300 trains will travel at speeds of 125 miles per hour and offer a modern interior and spacious seating. Customers will be able to make use of the free, fast and unlimited Wi-Fi and extra entertainment options allowing passengers to stream movies and TV on mobile devices. On board catering facilities will allow for hot and cold food options.
TransPennine Express AT300s provide an extra 161 seats compared to standard class 185 train
Each of the new trains will provide an extra 161 seats compared to the average class 185 train and will offer excellent reliability and efficiency as well as advanced customer information systems.
The majority of the carriages will be assembled at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The new trains will be introduced to the network from December 2019.
Features of the Hitachi Bi-mode trains:
Hitachi will also provide full service provision, including heavy maintenance, cleaning and stabling, at its Doncaster Carr and Craigentinny (Edinburgh) maintenance centres, while overnight stabling and servicing will be undertaken at the Edge Hill, Heaton and York depots.
“These brand new state of the art Hitachi trains will lead to significant improvements in seating, capacity and provide a more reliable and efficient service”
TransPennine Express Managing Director designate Leo Goodwin said: “The signing of this contract is the first major step for the new franchise. These brand new state of the art Hitachi trains will lead to significant improvements in seating, capacity and provide a more reliable and efficient service. These trains will be able to run at speeds of 125 miles per hour but they also have the capability of running at 140 miles per hour if the network allows for it in the future. These speeds will reduce journey times across our network, bringing our great towns and cities in the North closer together. The overall comfort and experience will also be enhanced with more entertainment options, free Wi-Fi, better catering and real-time information systems. Hitachi is a reliable train manufacturer with a great reputation. We are very pleased to be working with the Hitachi to build these intercity trains which will help to better connect the North and Scotland.”
Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said of the deal announcement: “Hitachi is thrilled to be delivering a fleet of new Inter City trains for TransPennine Express, connecting cities and people with greater speed, comfort and capacity across the Northern Powerhouse region. Last September, Hitachi brought rail manufacturing back to its birthplace in the North East of England and so it is entirely fitting that our facility at Newton Aycliffe is where these new AT300 trains will be built.
“Building on our contracts to deliver new IEP trains for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines, commuter trains for Scotland, Inter City trains from London to Devon and Cornwall, as well as our existing HS1 ‘Javelin’ services operating from London and Kent, Hitachi is on track to transform rail travel for millions of fare-paying customers throughout the UK.”
The new TransPennine Express will deliver a total of 44 new state of the art trains. A deal for the procurement of the remaining 25 new trains is expected to be finalised soon. The first of these trains will be delivered in spring 2018.
TransPennine Express will lease the carriages from Angel Trains which financed and will own the new trains.