Hull Trains to receive five new AT300 Inter City trains following £60m deal
2 November 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
The £60 million contract, financed by Angel Trains, will deliver five Hitachi AT300 trains of five carriages each, operating on either electric or diesel power. The trains will be built at Hitachi’s manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The new bi-mode vehicles are expected to come into service in 2019, travelling on the electrified East Coast Main Line from London King’s Cross and then on the unelectrified line to Hull and Beverley powered by diesel.
In addition to the supply of rolling stock, Hitachi will maintain the AT300 trains at its new facility at Bounds Green, north London.
“The new bi-mode units will bring the economic, social and connectivity benefits of electrification to the region”
Commenting on the order, Will Dunnett, Managing Director of Hull Trains, said: “Hull Trains is a leading operator for passenger service and reliability and this
latest enhancement of our fleet forms part of a multi-million pound investment to keep the Hull and Humber region connected to the capital with certainty of fast, direct services, seven days a week.
“The new bi-mode units will bring the economic, social and connectivity benefits of electrification to the region now, including more sustainable trains, more jobs for local people and an ever better experience for customers.
“In keeping with our commitment to innovation we will also be introducing various technological advancements to further improve the customer experience over the coming year.”
Benefits of the Hitachi AT300 for Hull Trains
Introducing the five new Inter City trains will introduce 20 percent more seating than on current services – this equates to 61 extra seats per train rising to 327 in total. Interior features will include air conditioning, Wi-Fi and power sockets. Journey times will also be reduced thanks to faster acceleration and a top speed of 140mph. In addition, whilst running on electric power from King’s Cross, the new vehicles will be quieter with lower emissions.
“We also intend to invest in the current Hull Trains fleet to ensure they are fit for the next three years”
Steve Montgomery, FirstGroup’s Rail Division Managing Director, said: “Hull Trains is a great success story and its enduring high customer satisfaction scores really demonstrate how open access rail services can deliver for passengers in certain markets. These are exciting times for Hull Trains as the city of Hull moves towards UK City of Culture status in 2017.
“The new trains we are introducing will provide 20 percent more seats for our customers and also offer the potential for faster journeys. We also intend to invest in the current Hull Trains fleet to ensure they are fit for the next three years.”
“Using our innovative bi-mode power model, these trains can begin operation immediately on the UK rail network”
Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe added: “Customers travelling on Hull Trains services between Yorkshire and London will enjoy a host of benefits from new Hitachi Inter City trains, which are modernising rail travel on routes across the UK. These trains have been designed to increase the number of seats available whilst harnessing the latest in comfort design to boost passenger experiences.
Using our innovative bi-mode power model, these trains can begin operation immediately on the UK rail network which means passengers won’t have to wait to enjoy the new benefits.
“This is the start of a long-term relationship between Hitachi and Hull Trains and, following our recent train and maintenance order from FirstGroup’s TransPennine Express franchise, another sign of our strong commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.”
Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains, commented: “Angel Trains is delighted to be financing, procuring and leasing the new Hitachi Inter-City Trains to expand the Hull Trains’ fleet. The deal will provide more seats whilst improving the experience for passengers. Critically, it will also support jobs in the North of England where the new rolling stock will be built. Angel Trains has already financed £4.7 billion worth of improvements to the UK rail industry since privatisation and this new contract is a further demonstration of our commitment to increasing capacity, enhancing passengers’ experience and value, while providing long-term employment.”