UK: The first bodyshell for the fleet of five Hitachi AT300 electro-diesel trainsets ordered by open access operator Hull Trains has been completed at the manufacturer’s factory at Kasado in Japan. Fitting out will be undertaken at Hitachi’s Pistoia plant in Italy ahead of delivery to the UK next year.

Ordered by leasing company Angel Trains in a £60m deal agreed in November 2016, the five-car trainsets are scheduled to replace Hull Trains’ current fleet of four Alstom Class 180 diesel units from December 2019.

Similar to the Class 800 trainsets ordered for the Great Western and East Coast franchises under the government’s Intercity Express Programme and the Class 802 which recently began entering service with GWR and is under construction for TransPennine Express, the Class 802 units for Hull Trains will be able to use 25 kV 50 Hz electrification on the East Coast Main Line from London to Yorkshire, switching to diesel power to reach Hull and Beverley.

They have a design speed of 225 km/h, although running above 200 km/h would require infrastructure enhancements.

The five-car trainsets will offer 20% more seats than the current fleet, with interiors designed to be ‘brighter, more spacious and streamlined’.

‘These trains will really transform travel from Hull and East Yorkshire to the capital and we are delighted to see the progress made so far’, said Hull Trains Managing Director Louise Cheeseman on August 28. ‘We will be able to boast some of the most technologically advanced, fastest and most comfortable trains on the UK rail network.’