March 31, 2016

First orders AT300s for TransPennine Express

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FIRST TransPennine Express (FTPE) has awarded Hitachi Rail Europe a contract to supply 19 bi-mode (diesel and electric) AT300 multiple units for the new TransPennine Express franchise, which starts on April 1 and runs until 2023.

The five-car inter-city trains, which are being procured by leasing company Angel Trains, will seat 330 passengers, compared with 169 on FTPE's existing Siemens class 185 DMUs.

FTPE says the "modern interior and spacious seating will offer significant improvements in comfort, while free, fast and unlimited Wi-Fi will provide extra entertainment options on every train and allow customers to stream movies and TV on mobile devices."

The AT300s will operate at up to 200km/h but will have a maximum design speed of 225km/h.

Most of the 95 vehicles on order will be assembled at Hitachi Rail Europe's new facility at Newton Aycliffe in northeast England, although the first few trains will be built at Hitachi's Kasado plant in Japan. The fleet will enter passenger service from December 2019.

Hitachi will carry out maintenance, cleaning, and stabling of the trains on behalf of FTPE at its Doncaster Carr and Edinburgh Craigentinny depots, while overnight stabling and servicing will be undertaken at Liverpool Edge Hill, Newcastle Heaton, and York depots.

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