The full fleet of AT200 electric multiple units could be bought for £1 by the Scottish Government after 25 years’ use.
The trains are being built by Hitachi, with seven under construction in Japan and the remaining 63 to be built at Newton Aycliffe. They will be used on newly electrified lines north of the border as part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).
ScotRail called the deal an “industry first”, and that it has secured the vehicles’ use in Scotland beyond the ten-year ScotRail contract. The contract guarantees the use of the trains for at least 25 years, and includes a long-term maintenance deal.
Abellio ordered 70 EMUs (46 three-car and 24 four-car) as part of its winning bid for the ScotRail franchise. The first tranche (expected to be the four-car trains) will arrive in summer 2017, with the rest introduced by early 2019.
The EMUs’ introduction enables an almost 50% increase in capacity between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Queen Street during the peak, when eight-car EMUs will run instead of six-car diesel multiple units.