The consortium includes three financial partners: Siemens Project Ventures, Innisfree, and 3i Infrastructure.

Siemens confirmed that it has already invested €50m in developing the design for the Desiro City train which will enable the first trains to enter service from early 2016, with a full service of 24 trains per hour being introduced by the end of 2018.

The 160km/h trains will be supplied as either 162m-long eight-car sets or 242m-long 12-car trains. They will be 2.8m wide and will have aluminium bodyshells and so-called "fly-by-wire" technology to keep weight to a minimum. An eight-car train will weigh 278 tonnes and the 12-car version 410 tonnes.

The dual-voltage trains will have four motorised cars in an eight-car set and eight in a 12-car train. The power output at the wheel will be 3.3MW and 5MW respectively.

The Desiro City will have wide inter-car gangways and is designed to meet the European persons of reduced mobility TSI standard. The trains will have air-conditioning.