Hitachi Rail Europe is to manufacture AT300 trains at its facility in Pistoia, Italy, for UK train operator Great Western Railway (GWR).

Signed in July, the train supply contract will see Hitachi Rail Italy (HRI) provide and maintain 29 AT300 trains operated between London Paddington and the west country locations of Plymouth and Penzance.

The decision was finalised after a team from GWR and its finance partner for the new trains Eversholt Rail evaluated the quality of engineering and production at Hitachi’s facility in Italy, the company said in a statement.

The fleet will comprise seven nine-car and 22 five-car bi-mode trains, which can beturned into ten-car formations with two five-cars coupled together.

Hitachi Rail Italy CEO Maurizio Manfellotto said: "Hitachi Rail Italy is delighted to be selected to produce this fleet of prestigious new trains, which will bring new levels of speed and experience to fare-paying customers travelling between London and the west country.

"The AT300 fleet has been designed to run as electric trains that can switch to diesel mode on non-electrified tracks."

Similar to the Class 800 bi-mode trains designed for the UK’s InterCity Express Programme (IEP), the AT300 trains will use higher engine operating power.

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By GlobalData

The AT300 fleet has been designed to run as electric trains that are able to switch to diesel mode on non-electrified tracks.

In addition, the trains are equipped with bigger fuel tanks for long-distance journeys. HRI is also building new TSR trains for regional services in Italy, under €40m contract signed earlier this month.

Under the contract awarded by Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM), HRI will supply four trains with four cars each.

In December, HRI also signed a €190m from Trenitalia to supply new Vivalto regional trains.

Image: Double-decker coaches to be delivered to Italy’s Ferrovie Nord Milano (FNM). Photo: courtesy of © Hitachi, Ltd.