The announcement follows completion of a \u00a3100m deal on March 20 between FirstGroup and Hitachi Rail for the trains and 10-years\u2019 maintenance, financed by Beacon Rail.\r\n\r\nFirstGroup secured rights from Britain\u2019s Office of Road and Rail (ORR) to run a new open-access service between the two capitals, with the aim of encouraging modal shift from air to rail. Two-thirds of journeys between the two cities are currently made by air. Under plans submitted in 2015, trains will call at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth with an end-to-end journey time of up to 4h 30min.\r\n\r\nThe average fare will be less than \u00a325, and FirstGroup will offer on-board catering and free Wi-Fi. FirstGroup already operates an open access service, Hull Trains, linking Hull with London King\u2019s Cross.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nFirstGroup says the benefits of the new trains include:\r\n\r\n \tmore seats, as the five new trains will offer an additional 400 seats per train on the route\r\n \tgreater comfort, air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, and power sockets\r\n \tquieter and more environmentally-friendly travel, and\r\n \tone standard level of service throughout the train.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe\u2019re excited to announce the next step to providing our high-quality low-fare service for customers linking London and Edinburgh,\u201d says First Rail managing director, Mr Steve Montgomery. \u201cThere\u2019s a real gap in the market for truly-affordable rail travel between the two capitals - our plans show we are serious about competing with low-cost airlines and opening up rail travel on this key route to thousands of new passengers.\u201d\r\n\r\nFor detailed information on fleet orders around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.