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County Durham train plant wins £60m order for inter city trains

The new vehicles are expected to come into service in 2019 and would be able to travel on the electrified East Coast Main Line Photo: Hitachi Rail Europe

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.

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.”

– Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe

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.

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."

– Malcolm Brown, CEO of Angel Trains