Latest Rail News

09.10.14

Hitachi to supply ScotRail’s new electric fleet for Abellio

Abellio has confirmed that Hitachi is its preferred bidder for the construction and supply of 70 new electric trains for ScotRail, which will come into operation by December 2017.

The Dutch passenger transport group, which has just been awarded the ScotRail franchise, told RTM that the trains are a “new design so don’t have a class number yet”.

RTM reported in July that Hitachi’s new commuter train design, known as the AT200 and showcased at last month’s InnoTrans, was in the running as the electric fleet for the Edinburgh-Glasgow route. It can be provided in three-car to 12-car formations depending on route requirements. 

Andy Barr, Hitachi Rail Europe’s chief operating officer, said: “We are delighted that Abellio has selected Hitachi Rail Europe as preferred bidder to supply rolling stock as well as long-term maintenance of our electric trains. This is great news, as it is the first contract for our recently launched AT200 commuter train.” 

Hitachi will supply Abellio with 70 electric multiple units (EMUs), which will form 46 three-car trains and 24 four-car trains (234 rail cars). These will run on the newly electrified Edinburgh-Glasgow line as well as on the Stirling – Alloa – Dunblane lines. The company added that the trains will be built at its new factory at Newton Aycliffe, currently under construction. 

Barr added: “Our team of engineers and designers have gone to great lengths to take passenger needs, operator requirements and our wealth of experience in train manufacture and maintenance into account. 

“The AT200 is our new, exciting offering to the commuter rail market, a highly standardised yet flexible design that improves the travelling experience for tomorrow’s commuters.”

Hitachi AT200 interior

The design includes inter-vehicle gangways for better use of passenger space, tables and toilet facilities, ambient LED lighting throughout, air conditioning as standard, USB and power sockets available at every seat as well as passenger wi-fi provision. 

In addition, adequate luggage storage for commuter travel and cantilever seats in both standard and first class ensure that passengers find enough space for their possessions, while allowing for fast and efficient cleaning and maintenance. 

The trains, made of lightweight aluminium alloy extrusions using friction stir welding, are also said to be highly resistant to corrosion, further reducing maintenance requirements.

At its core, the train has a high level of on-board diagnostics that continuously monitor the train and feed back to the maintenance base regarding aspects of its performance. This reduces maintenance, as inspections can be directed according to indications given by the diagnostic system instead of frequent checking. 

In addition to the  new electric train fleet, Abellio has committed to introducing 27 refurbished HST diesels by December 2018 for inter-city services between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. These could be cascaded stock from the Great Western Main Line, when the new ‘Super Express’ Class 800/801s – also built by Hitachi – replace that fleet. 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Galloway Princess   09/10/2014 at 15:52

80 new electric trains? Where's me abacus? 80 vehicles maybe - 20x4-car or 16x5-car. If it's 80 units, then what are they replacing out west - the 314s and 318s (total 35 trains), as well as EGIP?

David   09/10/2014 at 16:14

I doubt first group would've chosen a company that would have built trains in Britain as they were far too obsessed with German trains so good riddens to first. And also abellio are giving the good old faithful HST another life on cramped Aberdeen and Inverness routes increasing capacity and reducing fares perhaps the Scottish governments decision wasn't as ridiculous as first I feared.

Mikeyb   09/10/2014 at 20:14

Is it not correct that Abellio issued the tender notice for these new trains back in August 2013? However, as the announcement of preferred bidders for the Scotrail franchise has only just been made, does it not seem that Transport for Scotland had actually notified Abellio of their final decision over 12 months ago

Neil Palmer   10/10/2014 at 05:56

Galloway Princess - it says right in the article: Hitachi will supply Abellio with 70 electric multiple units (EMUs), which will form 46 three-car trains and 24 four-car trains (234 rail cars).

RTM   10/10/2014 at 10:16

Transport Scotland informed us, originally, that the number of electric trains was 80. However, after confirming with Hitachi and Abellio, RTM was told the number is 70. The article has been amended to show this.

Bill   10/10/2014 at 21:41

Glad to read that the HSTs will be "specially refurbished" so that the seats line up with the windows. Let us hope that the AT200s are built that way from the start. There is no excuse for the absurd practice of giving luggage racks a window, while some passengers look at a wall (as in the otherwise well refurbished 158s).

Henry Law   10/10/2014 at 23:43

I hope the front end design will be revised before construction begins. The combination of raked cab windows and a gangway gives the trains an unfortunate piggy-wiggy look. Gangway-end multiple units are always difficult but the designers got it right with the class 158 and the SWT Siemens and rebuilt Gatwick Express sets and the Southern Electostars are better still in this respect. Having solved the problem, it is a pity that design is sliding backwards.

Cumbernauld Commuters' Association   19/10/2014 at 11:23

Pleased to see that these EGIP units will be corridor-connected - a prime requisite (as with the Ayrshire class 370s) - as images elsewhere show otherwise!

Cumbernauld Commuters' Association   19/10/2014 at 12:18

OOPS - That should have read:- "(as with the Ayrshire class 380s)"!

Arty200   25/02/2015 at 19:13

David: Hitachi is a Japanese company not German.

David   27/02/2015 at 23:29

Arty200 I'm well aware Siemens are German First have a track record of opting for german built trains rather than British built so good riddens to first for that reason.

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