Hitachi Rail Europe signs contract with Abellio to provide new trains for ScotRail franchise
Date: Mar 12, 2015
Source: Hitachi, Ltd.
Edinburgh, 12 March, 2015 – Hitachi Rail Europe and Abellio are delighted to announce today that they have signed a contract for the provision and maintenance of 70 new trains for the upcoming ScotRail franchise. The trains are financed by Caledonian Rail Leasing.
46 three-car and 24 four-car AT200 EMU trains are being procured to operate along the Edinburgh-Glasgow and Stirling – Alloa -Dunblane lines and will go into service in late 2017. The contract also comprises a 10-year maintenance deal, with plans currently in place to stable and service the trains at depots in Edinburgh.
The first seven trains are scheduled to be built in Hitachi’s Kasado factory in Japan, with the remaining 63 being built in their flagship Newton Aycliffe train manufacturing facility in the UK, opening later this year.
Transport Scotland’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is a crucial part of the new ScotRail franchise, and these new trains will play an important role in delivering extensive benefits for Scottish rail users and providing long term economic sustainability.
The AT200 model has been designed to transform the regional commuter travel experience. With a top speed of 100 miles per hour, 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.
The contract is being financed by Caledonian Rail Leasing Ltd, a Special Purpose Vehicle created by SMBC Leasing.
Derek Mackay, Scottish Transport Minister, said: “With the new ScotRail franchise, a number of impressive infrastructure projects and these slick new trains, 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.”
“Passengers will love using these new trains, but the benefits go far beyond that. The use of electric trains on Scotland’s busiest route will help reduce our carbon footprint. The improved connection can only be good for our two biggest cities. And the innovative contract has reduced the cost of the finance, as well as guaranteeing a great deal for Scotland in the longer term.”
“This is real evidence of Scotland’s railways being fit for the future.”
Jeff Hoogesteger, Chief Executive of Abellio said: “This is an important deal for passengers and for Scotland. 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. And the effects of the investment will spread much wider than that. The new trains will be more energy efficient, and innovations in design and lightweight construction will reduce the impact of services on important infrastructure.”
Jon Veitch, Hitachi Rail Europe’s General Manager for Scotland, said: “We are delighted to be signing this contract with Abellio today, which will see the supply of rolling stock and maintenance services for their new ScotRail franchise. This forms the start of a long-term partnership to boost passenger services in Scotland, and we will be working closely with the operator to ensure that services are kept to a very high standard across this period.”
“This is also 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.”
Abellio, a leading operator in the UK rail market, was named franchise operator for the ScotRail franchise on October 8, 2014.