East Midlands Railway Hitachi Class 810 Aurora impression

UK: East Midlands Railway has selected Aurora as the brand name for the fleet of Class 810 electro-diesel inter-city trainsets which Hitachi Rail is to supply for use on the Midland Main Line between London, Nottingham and Sheffield from 2023.

The name was announced on October 27 following a competition which attracted more than 2 000 entries.

The judges selected the name for its two meanings: the Roman goddess of the dawn, representing a new start for the route; and the Northern Lights, aurora borealis, which EMR said was ‘created by the transfer of the sun’s solar energy — matching Aurora’s ability to run under electric power’.

In July 2019 East Midlands franchisee Abellio announced that it had selected Hitachi to supply and maintain 33 five-car 200 km/h electro-diesel trainsets at a cost of £400m. The fleet will be financed and owned by Rock Rail East Midlands.

The use of bi-mode trainsets was specified by the Department for Transport in the franchise competition following the government’s decision to truncate 25 kV 50 Hz electrification of the Midland Main Line

Production of the vehicles derived from Hitachi’s AT300 family is due to start later this year, with the first trains due to start main line testing in mid-2022 and enter passenger service in early 2023.

‘The new trains will benefit 65 suppliers across the UK, including a number in the East Midlands, and will be built at our factory in County Durham, supporting hundreds of jobs in the region’, said Jim Brewin, UK Country Lead at Hitachi Rail.