Hitachi has won a multi-million pound order for new trains that will be built at its County Durham plant.
The company says passengers on the East Coast Main Line will benefit from the arrival of five brand new Inter City trains, following completion of a £60 million deal between FirstGroup and Hitachi Rail Europe, financed by Angel Trains.
The new vehicles will offer Hull Trains passengers extra seats, with 61 more per train.
Hitachi will build five AT300 trains of five carriages each, operating as ‘bi-modes’, meaning they will be able to run on either electric or diesel power.
The new vehicles are expected to come into service in 2019 and would be able to travel on the electrified East Coast Main Line from London King’s Cross and then on diesel power on the unelectrified line to Hull and Beverley.
As part of the agreement, the new trains will be fully maintained by Hitachi at its new facility at Bounds Green, north London.
Hitachi will build the trains at their manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
The benefits of the new trains include:
- More seats – 327 seats per train, 20% more than the current services
- Greater comfort – new interiors, air conditioning, Wi-Fi & power
- Quieter and more environmentally friendly
- Reduced journey time possible – the new trains will have faster acceleration and a higher top speed of 140mph
The Hitachi factory will eventually employ more than 700 people and those behind this deal say it will help maintain employment at the plant in County Durham.