Rail bosses hail landmark moment in delivering new trains to serve Chesterfield
Rail bosses have hailed a landmark moment in a bid to bring new state-of-the-art trains to Chesterfield.
The trains, which are due to take over Midland Main Line services between London and Sheffield, via Chesterfield, in 2023, are currently being built by Hitachi Rail at its factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
And welding has just begun on the £400 million project to deliver 33 five-carriage trains, which will be able to run on electricity and diesel.
Rachel Turner, EMR head of new trains, said: “The start of the welding process is an exciting milestone in the journey to bring our new state-of-the art Aurora trains to EMR customers.
“We are also working with Hitachi to provide more opportunities and significant investment to Derby and the wider East Midlands.
“This includes working with Derby-based supplier DGDesign, to create unique, comfortable and welcoming interiors for the Aurora, as well as investing to upgrade our depot at Etches Park in Derby, so it can continue to provide highly-skilled jobs and maintain the fleet for many years to come.
“Our joint commitment will not only ensure the fleet meets the needs of our customers, but also that EMR can continue to support the communities we serve.”
EMR said the trains will offer “significant advances” on its existing main-line fleet, with passengers benefiting from more seats and modern interiors, as well as air conditioning, free Wi-Fi throughout, plug sockets and better passenger information screens.
Aurora was chosen as the name for the trains after a competition which attracted nearly 2,000 entries.
EMR said Aurora is the name of the Roman goddess of the dawn, which represents the new start of the trains.
About 40 newly qualified welders and painters at Hitachi Rail will be completing the high-tech aluminium carriage shells.
Jim Brewin, Hitachi Rail head of UK and Ireland, said: “The £110m investment at Hitachi Rail’s UK factory, which includes new painting and welding capabilities, ensures the Aurora fleet are truly British-built trains.
“These new inter-city trains will deliver a real step-change for EMR passengers, with more seats and modern passenger facilities.”