Abellio has ordered a fleet of 33×5-car bi-mode trains from Hitachi for the new East Midlands Railway franchise, due to start on 18 August.
Financed by Rock Rail, the trains will start operating in 2022 on services from Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham and Leicester to St Pancras. The contract for the 165 carriages is valued at £400 million. The order provides a boost for Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory, while the company will also maintain and service the fleet at Etches Park depot in Derby.
The new bi-mode fleet will take over inter-city services on the Midland main line from the current Class 222 Meridians and HSTs. A fleet of cascaded electric trains, widely expected to be Class 360s transferred from Greater Anglia, will operate services southwards from Corby into St Pancras. Cascaded and refurbished trains are also planned to operate on regional routes by December 2021, replacing the current Class 153, 156 and 158 Sprinter fleets.