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East Midlands Chamber News

Abellio announces supplier for new trains for Midland Main Line


Abellio UK, which recently won the eight-year East Midlands Railway franchise, has today confirmed that it has awarded a £400m contract to Hitachi Rail to build a new fleet of intercity trains.


The state-of-the-art rolling stock will start operating in 2022 and will serve the main cities and towns on the Midland Main Line.

The new trains will offer significant advances on the existing fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors.


Abellio has ordered 33 five-carriage trains, which will run in 10-car formations. The trains will include features that passengers and local stakeholders have said they want to see, including air conditioning, free Wi-Fi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.


The new Hitachi trains are quieter and greener, meaning lower carbon emissions and a better environment for passengers, stations and communities along the route.


They have the ability to run using electric overhead lines wherever possible, taking advantage of the £1.5bn Midland Main Line upgrade and, when running in diesel mode, will cut harmful emissions (particulate matter) by up to 90% compared with existing rolling stock.


Today’s order for Hitachi will benefit suppliers across the country and, in particular, the East Midlands. Hitachi’s UK train factory at Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham, has worked with 65 different suppliers from the East Midlands, awarding various multi-million-pound contracts to support skills and high-quality jobs in the region.


Since opening in 2015, Hitachi’s factory has delivered over 450 intercity train carriages for passenger service in the UK and, where services are in operation, passenger satisfaction rates have been boosted.


Based on Japanese bullet train technology, the new fleet for the East Midlands Railway franchise is the sixth intercity fleet that Hitachi will deliver to UK train operators, a key factor in letting the contract.


Hitachi’s maintenance teams will maintain and service the new fleet at EMR’s Etches Park depot in Derby, supporting high quality engineering jobs in the East Midlands.


Rock Rail East Midlands will finance the fleet, which will be leased to Abellio for the life of the franchise.


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 £600m 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 more capacity, with 80% more seats into London in the morning peak.”