Hitachi Rail Europe has awarded a €200m contract to Tognum subsidiary MTU to supply 250 700kW diesel powerpacks for its future high-speed Super Express trains under the UK's Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
The contract also includes a 27.5-year maintenance period for the powerpacks, built around MTU's 12V 1600 R80L engine with selective catalytic reduction (SCR), induction generator and Capos starting system.
Delivery of the powerpacks is scheduled to take place between 2013 and 2018, with the maintenance period starting from 2017.
In July 2012, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) awarded a £4.5bn contract to Agility Trains to build 596 railway carriages at a new train factory in north-east England as part of the IEP.
Agility Trains, a consortium comprising of Hitachi and John Laing, will build the trains to replace the UK's ageing Intercity 125s with new higher-capacity modern models.
The first trains under the IEP are scheduled to enter service on the Great Western Main Line in 2017 and on the East Coast Main Line by 2018.
The initial phase includes 21 nine-car electric trains and 36 five-car bi-mode trains for the Great Western franchise (369 vehicles), while the second phase includes 12 five-car electric trains, ten five-car bi-mode trains and 13 nine-car bi-mode trains for the East Coast franchise (227 vehicles).
The new rolling stock, which will include both electric and bi-mode trains, will be equipped with one powerpack each for auxiliary power, which will allow them to operate under their own power in the absence of overhead electricity.
Depending on the length, each bi-mode train will have three five-unit trains, four eight-unit trains or five nine-unit train powerpacks.
Hitachi has already started tests on fuel consumption, noise and vibration, and power and exhaust emissions at its facilities in Japan using a powerpack prototype prepared by MTU for the joint project.
Hitachi will also build a new rolling stock manufacturing and assembly plant at Newton Aycliffe in Durham, where it will assemble a fleet of 92 complete trains.
Construction of the Newton Aycliffe facility is expected to start in 2013 and when fully operational in 2015, it is expected to be capable of producing up to 35 vehicles every month.
The fleet of 92 electric and bi-mode trains will be maintained at new depots in Swansea, Bristol, London (North Pole) and Doncaster.
Image: MTU will deliver the powerpacks for Hitachi's high-speed Super Express trains between 2013 and 2018. Photo: courtesy of Tognum.