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Great Western orders seven more AT300s

Great Western Railway (GWR) has confirmed that it will order seven more AT300 trains from Hitachi, as part of a £139m order.

The new trains are in addition to the fleet of 57 Hitachi is already supplying GWR with as part of the £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme, the first of which took its maiden voyage on 1 July to mark the 175th anniversary of the Great Western Main Line.

The order expands on the 29 AT300s Great Western ordered last year. The seven new AT300s will built by Hitachi Rail Italy at its Pistoia manufacturing facility.

Mark Hopwood, managing director of GWR, said the new trains would provide “greater flexibility” in delivering more frequent services and additional seats.

The deal to acquire them will be partially financed by Eversholt Rail Group.

Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Hitachi is thrilled that First Great Western and Eversholt Rail Group have exercised the options they have with us to increase their AT300 fleet. This further strengthens our working relationship with two major customers.

“This is a further endorsement of our current work delivering modern, high-speed trains connecting people and communities along the route from London to the South West of England.”

Network Rail is currently electrifying the Great Western Main Line to help allow the new trains to operate. However, the initial completion dates have been delayed and there are ongoing concerns about the project going over budget. 

Last year, RTM attended the opening of Hitachi’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility at Newton Aycliffe, where the first Class 800 was unveiled.

As part of the original 57-fleet order Hitachi is building a fleet of 21 Class 801 units, which were originally intended to be entirely electric but will now also be bi-mode.

GWR also announced recently that it is acquiring 92 Class 387 Electrostar Vehicles from Bombardier via Porterbrook Leasing, which will operate on its Thames Valley services. 


Matthew Read   05/08/2016 at 19:07

This is instead of them getting class 365s :(

David   06/08/2016 at 11:05

For goodness' sake Matthew. I like the 365s as much as the next spotter, but what is your obsession with having them on the great western?

Andrew G   07/08/2016 at 11:12

And I thought I was worse when I comment. Sounds like David is getting a migraine.

Andrew Gwilt   07/08/2016 at 11:39

Hitachi have got a lot of work going into building the Class 800, Class 801 and Class 802 IEP Bi-mode & Electric multiple unit trains for Great Western Railway, Virgin Trains East Coast and Hull Trains. To be fair Hitachi are to build 93 brand new IEP Class 800 & Class 801 trains for GWR as it shows on Rail Magazine.

Jon   08/08/2016 at 01:24

Andrew, Matthew has been repeatedly asking on forums why 365s or 319s won't be taken on by GWR, even though it's been explained every time that maintaining a smaller fleet is not good value for money.

Andrew Gwilt   10/08/2016 at 21:41

Maybe he is right. The remaining Class 319's could be going to Great Northern but Great Northern wants to have the Class 387/1's and are ordering 25 Class 717's to replace the Class 313's that the Class 313's could be heading to Southern to be used on West Coastway and East Coastway lines or to be transferred to Merseyrail to be renumbered as Class 507 & Class 508.

Mikeb   11/08/2016 at 20:53

Andrew. There are no plans to transfer Class 313s to Merseyrail - even on a temporary basis. Merseytravel, who are the authority overseeing the franchise, have said that the current fleet of 507s and 508s are sufficient and they will be replaced by new-build trains within around five years.

Matthew Read   21/08/2016 at 10:50

I'm sorry i just like a bit of variety like any other normal trainspotter

Andrew Gwilt   27/08/2016 at 23:28

Ok. I guess that Merseyrail would be getting new trains in 2024 or 2025. But what you said is relevant.

Jude   25/01/2018 at 19:02

Waste of good 365s to scrap them. ScotRail or Northern for them maybe? 314s could do w/ replacement.. or on Lee Valley lines instead of 317/321s

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