Hitachi targeting lead role in UK high-speed rail market

Hitachi has added another train to its product range – the AT400 very high-speed train.

To date, the manufacturer has received orders for its AT200 commuter platform and its AT300 intercity train.

Hitachi commissioned the UK’s first domestic high-speed train fleet, the Class 395, in 2009. Given the Class 395’s maximum speed of 225 km/h, the AT400 is a closer representation of the rolling stock required for HS2.

“We do know what real high-speed is about,” said outgoing Hitachi Rail Europe managing director Keith Jordan on the manufacturer’s immersive stand at Railtex, which featured driver simulators and a 3D interior walkthrough of the AT400.

HRE very high speed VHS Standard 2

Aside from its eye-catching exterior styling, the AT400 is a demonstration of some of the intuitive technology that Hitachi’s high-speed trains could have. Things like seat reservation lighting, holographic displays and smart tables that interact with passengers’ phones and tablets.

“Yes, it looks far ahead of what’s available at the moment, what’s available in the shops at the moment, but not in our R&D because we have many thousands of people working on R&D all over the world.

“So all that you see will be deliverable in the future. The technology exists the delivery sometimes takes time, and educating customers sometimes takes time.”

He added: “We’re looking beyond HS2, HS3, however it ends up, high-speed in the UK. We feel we have to be in a very good position because of the technology we’ve got, 50 years of experience in Japan, more than anybody else in the world with high-speed trains.”

Read the full interview in June’s issue of RailStaff.


  1. Hitachi will be manufacturing the AT300 (IEP) Intercity Trains for First Great Western & Virgin Trains East Coast, AT200 Commuter Trains for Abellio Scotrail and AT100 Metro Trains for London Overground then they could plan to build the AT400 High Speed trains for HS2.

  2. I reckon the AT400 is still in the concept stage with the design teams in Japan and until the detailed specifications are finalised, it may be too early to speculate on which British TOCs may place orders. With regard to Newton Aycliffe, many sources are describing it as a manufacturing plant but it is more likely to be a train assembly/building plant, with components (both large and small) made elsewhere.

  3. yes the plant is just assembly. there are no UK manufactured items in the production of these trains.
    like rolls royce it looks good but aint.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Rail News

Celebrations as transformational Elizabeth line begins operations

The transformational Elizabeth line opened yesterday (Tuesday 24 May) to an incredible reception from Londoners and transport enthusiasts from...

More like this...