GWR orders nine more IEPs from Hitachi
FirstGroup-owned GWR has ordered seven more bi-mode (electro-diesel) IEP sets from Hitachi Rail Europe in a multi-million deal financed with Eversholt Rail Group, the rolling stock leasing company.
A FirstGroup spokesman declined to disclose further details about the deal to 21CR on the grounds of ‘commercial confidentiality’.
GWR already has two separate orders with Hitachi for intercity express IEP units, namely: 57 Class 800 (36 x 5 car plus 21 x 9 car) sets for 2017 delivery; and 29 Class 802 (22 x 5 car plus 7 x 9 car) sets for 2018 delivery.
Both orders were placed last year.
Classes 800 and 802 are both bi-mode; overhead electric current provides the main traction source but an underfloor diesel engine gives additional ‘beyond the wires’ capability. The Class 802 has a more powerful engine and is rated at 940hp (as against 750hp for a Class 800).
The additional GWR sets will be nine car Class 802s (based on Hitachi’s AT300 series) and are to be built at the company’s new works in Pistoia, Italy (from the recently acquired AnsaldoBreda concern).
Unlike Virgin East Coast Trains – which is also re-equipping with new IEP trains – the GWR intercity fleet will be exclusively bi-mode and there will now no longer be some ‘pure electric’ sets as originally intended.
In addition to the IEP orders for GWR and VTEC, Hitachi is also supplying 19 similar bi-mode sets for Transpennine Express, and 70 EMUs for ScotRail.