UK transport operator Abellio has awarded Hitachi Rail a contract worth £400m ($486m) to supply intercity trains for East Midlands Railway.
Under the agreement, Hitachi Rail will supply 33 five-carriage intercity trains to Abellio. It will build 165 intercity carriages at its Newton Aycliffe train factory in the UK.
The carriages will include air conditioning, wi-fi, plug sockets and improved passenger information screens.
Abellio won the contract to run the East Midlands Railway franchise in April. It will operate the franchise from August this year until August 2027, with the option for a two-year extension.
Abellio UK managing director Dominic Booth 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 passengers have told us they want with more frequent services, faster journeys between the East Midlands and London, and provide more capacity with 80% more seats into London in the morning peak.”
These trains will operate regularly in ten-carriage formations by 2022. They will operate within Midland mainline, including Sheffield, Chesterfield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Lincoln, as well as Kettering and London St Pancras. Hitachi said that it will work with more than 60 suppliers from the Midlands on this project.
Hitachi Rail UK managing director Karen Boswell said: “Our train factory in County Durham sources train parts from across the country, including a significant amount from the region where the new trains will run.
“Hitachi is delighted that EMR passengers will soon be receiving the very latest model of our new intercity trains, which are already proving popular and increasing satisfaction among passengers in other parts of the country.”