Hitachi Rail has been awarded a £400mn (US$487.7mn) contract by public transport company Abellio.
Abellio was recently awarded the East Midlands Railway franchise by the UK government, which runs for eight years. The contract will see Hitachi build and deliver 165 intercity carriages to replace existing fleets. Describing the trains as state of the art, Abellio highlighted features such as air conditioning, free wifi and lower emissions.
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”.
The trains are to be manufactured in Hitachi Rail’s County Durham, UK factory which is said to have worked with 65 different East Midlands suppliers.
Karen Boswell, Managing Director for Hitachi Rail UK, said: “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”.