Hitachi Rail will supply 165 intercity carriages which will enter services on the East Midlands Railway (EMR), operated by Abellio UK under a new eight-year franchise. GPB 400 million (EUR 437.8 million) is the value of the contract. Abellio has ordered 33 five-carriage trains, which will regularly be operated in 10-carriage formations.
The new state of the art intercity trains will start operating in 2022 and will serve the main cities and towns on the Midland Main Line including Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Lincoln as well as Kettering and London St Pancras.
The new trains will offer significant advances on the existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors. The trains will be equipped with including air conditioning system, free Wi-Fi, plug sockets and better passenger information screens. There will be an improved and more consistent ‘seven day’ catering service in both 1st and Standard Class.
The intercity trains are quieter and greener, meaning lower carbon emissions and a better environment for passengers, stations and communities along the route.
They have the ability to run using electric overhead lines wherever possible, taking advantage of the GBP 1.5 billion (EUR 1.64 million) Midland Main Line upgrade and, when running in diesel mode, will cut harmful emissions by up to 90% compared to the legacy high-speed trains.
“These new trains form the centrepiece of our ambitious plans for a complete replacement of all the trains on the East Midlands Railway and are a more than £600 million investment to really improve the region’s railway. They will provide more capacity with 80% more seats into London in the morning peak,”Dominic Booth, Abellio (UK) Managing Director said.
The trains will be manufactured at Hitachi’s UK train factory at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, that, since opening in 2015, has delivered over 450 intercity train carriages into passenger service in the UK.
The funding package for these new Hitachi trains is led by Rock Rail and the fleet will be financed through Rock Rail East Midlands Plc. and leased to Abellio for the life of the franchise. As with Rock Rail’s previous new rolling stock deals, debt will be provided by institutional investor organisations (pension funds and insurance companies).