Hitachi close to getting £200m West Coast Franchise rolling stock overhaul


Hitachi looks to be within earshot of securing a £200m contract to overhaul as well as refurbish class 390 Pendolino’s on the west coast mainline according to our sources.

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Should the contact be secured and finalized this will mean a second blow for Hitachi’s Canadian rial Bombardier who just weeks ago lost a £400m deal to build new rolling stock for East Midlands, Railway (EMR)
The news comes after the recent announcement that First group and Trenitalia have successfully won the west coast franchise bid after Virgin and stagecoach group were banned from the bidding process. A ban that is currently set to be disputed in the high court next year.

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Pendolino at Milton Keynes Central in its new “hybrid” flowing silk in preparation for franchise change over.

Sources inform us that first Trenitalia plan on adding 263 extra intercity services every week from 2022 onwards in addition to this, they will also be introducing new rolling stock and a £117m refurbishment and overhaul of the Pendolino fleet. Sources also indicate that the new rolling stock could fully replace the existing class 221 super voyager fleet.

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The class 221 voyager fleet is looking to be replaced with new bi-mode rolling stock within 2 years giving this time frame it looks as if Hitachi’s very own class 80X trains could be in the line up as there replacement

The Class 390 Pendolino’s have now been serving the west coast mainline for 18 years in this time they have done a lot to improve journey times along the London to Glasgow route. However, during this time, the trains have never been refitted. Due to this, they are now beginning to look their age.

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Virgin Trains first class looking very dated

I’m sure railfans and commuters alike will agree with me when I say that 1975 built MK3 carriage of InterCity 125 (HST) fame currently in service with LNER look much newer than Pendolinos even though they (the MK3’s) have an age gap of 33 years.

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LNER new first class interior fitted in a 33 year old MK3 carriage makes it looks like it was built this year

We look forward to seeing what Hitachi has in mine for the Pendolino fleet should they win the bid and also look forward to seeing a new era on the West Coast Mainline.

Stephen is the Founder & Manager of Rail Traveller - Bringing you the latest news and reports to keep your rail travel on track!

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