Hitachi has been named by Dutch rail operator, Abellio, as the preferred supplier for 70 new electric trains to serve Scotland.

Subject to final negotiations, the Japanese firm will manufacture the trains from its multi-million pound facility in County Durham, for use by December 2017.

“These trains will be built at Hitachi’s new Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, complementing the delivery of the Class 800 and 801 trains for the Intercity Express Programme, boosting jobs and growth in the North East.”

Andy Barr, Hitachi Rail Europe’s Chief Operating Officer

Hitachi Rail Europe’s fleet of AT200 commuter trains will be designed with a top speed of 100 miles per hour. They say the focus is energy efficiency and weight reduction to minimise the impact on the infrastructure, in order to meet Transport Scotland requirements.

The trains will run on the newly electrified Edinburgh-Glasgow line as well as on the Stirling – Alloa – Dunblane lines as part of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).