On 12 February 2009, the DfT announced that Agility Trains, a consortium led by Hitachi, was the preferred bidder, with a train named the Hitachi Super Express.
In February 2010 it was announced the programme was suspended pending an independent report published in July 2010. A decision on the future of the programme was deferred along with decisions on the further electrification of the mainline network. In March 2011 the government confirmed its decision to proceed with Agility Trains with a changed programme. The order is expected to be placed by the end of 2011 and a manufacturing facility planned to be built in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Three versions were asked for: electrically powered via 25kV AC 50Hz overhead line, a self-powered version, and a 'bi-mode' version. These were to replace both the diesel Intercity 125 and electric Intercity 225 fleets.
The specification called for increased capacity and environmental performance over current designs, the ability to divide the train in order to serve different sub-routes, a modular design with three different variants that can be powered by... Read More