Multi-million pound order for County Durham trains

Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe plant. Credit: PA Images

Rail firm Abellio has announced a £400m order from Hitachi's County Durham factory for East Midlands railway.

The firm will build 165 intercity carriages in Newton Aycliffe.

Theses 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.

Abellio has said that the new trains will offer significant advances on the existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors. It has ordered 33 five-carriage trains, which will regularly be operated in 10-carriage formations.

The trains will include air conditioning, Wi-Fi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.

Hitachi’s is set to work with more than 60 suppliers from the Midlands on this project.

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.

Commenting on the order, Dominic Booth, Abellio (UK) managing director said:

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 respond to what our passengers have told us they want with more frequent services, faster journeys between the East Midlands and London, and provide more capacity with 80% more seats into London in the morning peak.

Dominic Booth, managing director, Abellio (UK)

Karen Boswell, managing director for Hitachi Rail UK, added: “

Today’s announcement will be welcomed in workshops and engineering centres across the country, thanks to our large network of UK suppliers. Our train factory in County Durham sources train parts from across the country, including a significant amount from the region where the new trains will run. “Hitachi is delighted that EMR passengers will soon be receiving the very latest model of our new intercity trains, which are already proving popular and increasing satisfaction among passengers in other parts of the country.

Karen Boswell, managing director, Hitachi Rail UK