Latest Rail News


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

Add your comment



rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

20/09/2018ORR report: ‘No one took charge’ in May timetable chaos, ‘everyone made mistakes’

A scathing report into the May timetable chaos has blasted transport secretary Chris Grayling, Network Rail, and the DfT’s handling of the ... more >
Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

20/09/2018Government rejects claims of transport spending ‘regional imbalance’

The Transport Committee has urged the DfT to “be more specific about the economic rebalancing effects it intends to achieve&rdquo... more >
DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

20/09/2018DfT quietly pulls the plug on CrossCountry franchise competition

The government has decided to pull the plug on the CrossCountry franchise competition as a result of its rail review announcement today. Bec... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News


Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

29/08/2018Going global: an interview with Network Rail’s Leevan Finney

RTM’s Jack Donnelly sat down with one of the leading minds behind Network Rail’s most advanced and innovative rail maintenance techno... more >
Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

18/09/2018The East Coast franchise report tells us what we already knew: it was a bid set up to fail

RTM's Jack Donnelly assesses what the Transport Committee's latest report on the VTEC franchise means for the industry as a whole “Eve... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

18/09/2018Northern Powerhouse Rail: The need for change

Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) will be transformational for the north – it will change the way people live, work, and play. It will rebalan... more >
Innovation through people and technology

18/09/2018Innovation through people and technology

Ian Prosser, HM chief inspector of railways and director of railway safety at the ORR, picks out the key industry challenges to focus on based on... more >
Why we all must mind the gap

18/09/2018Why we all must mind the gap

Clair Mowbray, chief executive of the National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR), explains how we can all ensure the UK’s next generation... more >
3D printing: from virtual to real

11/09/20183D printing: from virtual to real

Like so many other technological advancements, 3D printing has moved from being the stuff of science fiction, through niche industrial applicatio... more >