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Contract signed for new AT200 trains for Scottish routes

Hitachi and Abellio have signed the contract to provide new EMUs for key railway lines in Scotland.

Abellio, which takes over the ScotRail franchise from FirstGroup next month, confirmed that it will be provided with 46 three-car and 24 four-car AT200 EMU trains to operate along the Edinburgh-Glasgow and Stirling-Alloa-Dunblane lines.

They will go into service in late 2017.

The deal was first reported by RTM in October 2014.

Manufacturer Hitachi Rail Europe said the first seven trains will be built at its Kasado factory in Japan, with the remaining 63 being built at the new Newton Aycliffe facility, which opens later this year.

It is a similar process as is being used for the new IEP ‘Super Express’ trains being built for the Great Western and East Coast main lines by Hitachi.

The Abellio deal also includes a 10-year maintenance deal, with the trains set to be stabled and serviced at depots in Edinburgh.

Hitachi Rail Europe said: “The AT200 model has been designed to transform the regional commuter travel experience. With a top speed of 100mph, each car is 23 metres in length, and features cab-end and inter-vehicle gangways to facilitate the best use of passenger space. The train has a 35-year design life and is made to complement the requirements as set out and agreed with Transport Scotland.”

Hitachi AT200 interior

The contract is being financed by Caledonian Rail Leasing Ltd, a ‘special purpose vehicle’ created by SMBC Leasing.

Jeff Hoogesteger, chief executive of Abellio, said: “New trains for Scotland were a key feature in Abellio’s bid for the franchise and we are excited to be pressing the button on the delivery programme. The arrival of 24 Hitachi AT200s by late 2017 and a further 46 by Dec 2018 will ensure that the full benefits of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme are realised for passengers; delivering faster journey times, greater capacity and higher service quality.”

Jon Veitch, Hitachi Rail Europe’s general manager for Scotland, added: “This is the first contract for our recently launched AT200 commuter train. With the majority of manufacturing taking place in our Newton Aycliffe factory, this is another sign of our confidence in UK manufacturing and, in line with the delivery of our Class 800 IEP trains, will boost jobs and growth in Scotland and the North East of England.”

Scottish transport minister Derek Mackay said: “We are giving Scotland a railway to be proud of.

“Abellio’s winning bid for the ScotRail franchise included several exciting proposals and I look forward to seeing it all take shape from their takeover of the service in just a few weeks.”

Glasgow Hitachi AT200 EMU medium

Tell us what you think – [email protected]


Andrew Gwilt   13/03/2015 at 22:49

As Abellio are getting new trains with Hitachi to be building the AT200 commuter trains for the Abellio Scotrail Scotland Railway franchise. I think Abellio should also ask Hitachi to build the AT200 trains for the Greater Anglia franchise (Abellio Greater Anglia) to replace the 30+ year old Class 321's and Class 317's and also to have the IEP Class 802's for London-Norwich intercity route to replace the Class 90 MK3 fleet. Abellio Scotrail and Abellio Greater Anglia to get brand new trains to replace the existing older rolling stocks.

Mikeb   14/03/2015 at 21:32

What will happen to the trains that are going to be displaced by the AT200s? Will they end up on heritage lines - such as "Northern" perhaps!

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