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.”
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.
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