Saft says the contract covers the supply of MSX battery systems for up to 122 trains, which will provide power supply for safety and passenger comfort systems, such as lighting, ventilation, door opening and communications, for up to three hours in the event of an interruption to the main power supply. Every train will be fitted with at least two battery rafts under the train floor, with some sets having three or four systems depending on their operational mode.

Saft says the MSX systems are effective in temperatures ranging from -30 to 50°C, and that the contract is one of its largest-ever deals in the British railway market. Saft will initially supply 135 battery systems for installation on trains that will be deployed on the Great Western network, delivering the majority to Hitachi's new assembly plant in Newton Aycliffe in northeast England. However, the first 28 units will be supplied directly to Hitachi in Japan for the pre-series test programme which starts later this year.