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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Financing in place for new South West intercity train fleet

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The Department for Transport (DfT) and rolling stock leasing company Eversholt have reached a deal to finance a new fleet of intercity trains for South West England.

Eversholt will fund the purchase of 173 new AT300 vehicles worth £361 million which will then be leased to First Great Western to operate services from London Paddington to Plymouth and Penzance.

Built by Hitachi, the fleet will consist of 29 bi-mode trains – seven nine-car and 22 five-car sets. The trains will be “closely related” to the Class 800 bi-mode being built for the Great Western and East Coast main lines.

The new units will feature larger fuel tanks and up-rated power packs to allow it to negotiate the steeper gradients.

Mark Hopwood, managing director of First Great Western, said: “We know how important the railway is to the economies and communities of the South West, and today’s agreement is fantastic news for the region and the rail industry as a whole.

“These trains will help us deliver faster, more frequent services into the South West, each providing a 14 per cent increase in seats across the routes once they are all in service.

“Following this we have now formally finalised the agreement with Hitachi Rail Europe and Eversholt Rail, which will see the first trains in service in the summer of 2018.”


  1. After the AT300 IEP’s have been constructed and built for First Great Western and Virgin Trains East Coast. These new IEP trains will replace the Class 43 MK3 HST’s and with Hitachi to start manufacturing the AT200’s for Abellio Scotrail and plans to build the AT200’s for other operators such as Abellio Greater Anglia to replace the Class 321’s & 317’s used on the West Anglia and Great Eastern routes to/from London Liverpool Street.

  2. And the Hitachi AT100’s to be manufactured to be built for Southern to replace the Class 313’s used on the South Coast routes between Brighton-Portsmouth Harbour, Portsmouth & Southsea, Fareham, Southampton Central, Eastbourne, Lewis, Littlehampton, Seaford, Hastings and Havant.


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