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Hitachi's hi-tech train offers new levels of comfort

A new style of train, which may be brought into service on one of Scotland's busiest commuter routes, has been unveiled.

The carriages have air conditioning and power sockets at every seat and the manufacturers hope the rolling stock will used after the £741 million Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) is complete.

The designs were unveiled by Hitachi Rail Europe, which is in competition to operate commuter trains on the route and in London.

They are to be built by the Japanese firm at a new factory under construction in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. The AT200 trains, says the company, will offer a comfortable passenger environment.

Carriages will have inter-vehicle gangways for better use of passenger space, tables and toilet facilities, LED lighting throughout, air conditioning as standard, USB and power sockets available at every seat as well as passenger wifi provision.

The train has onboard diagnostics which continuously monitor the train and feed back to the maintenance base regarding aspects of its performance. This reduces maintenance.

The AT200s can be provided in 3-car to 12-car formations.

Hitachi hopes to win not only the EGIP train contract but also the London Overground extension contract which involves supplying trains on routes from Liverpool Street station in London and to replace the current two-car diesel trains on the Gospel Oak-Barking route.

Hitachi has already been chosen to replace the UK's ageing fleet of inter-city express trains.

The EGIP scheme aims to increase capacity and cut journey times between Scotland's two biggest cities. It includes the electrification of the main line from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Waverley.

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