Hitachi converts GWR ā€˜801sā€™ to bi-mode operation

21 Class 801 electric multiple units being built by Hitachi Rail Europe for the Great Western Main Line will now be delivered as bi-mode trains, rather than as EMUs due to delays with electrifrication. Initially Great Western Railway will take delivery of 36 bi-mode Class 800s, and on May 17, 80002 passes Hay Lane, near Swindon at around 0530 in the morning. This was the first time an Intercity Express Programme train had operated under its own diesel power this far west. STEVE KING.

Hitachi is to convert 21 Class 801 electric multiple units ordered for Great Western Railway to full bi-mode operation, rather than build the straight electric multiple units (with auxiliary diesel power) that was originally intended.

The move follows delays in the Great Western Main Line electrification programme, and was announced by Rail Minister Claire Perry in a Commons Written Reply to Bath MP Ben Howlett (Conservative) on May 26.

Perry wrote: “Following the receipt of a formal proposal from Agility Trains West Ltd, the Secretary of State for Transport has now approved the conversion of the 21 Class 801 Intercity Express Programme units scheduled for deployment on the Great Western to bi-mode operation. This will enable passengers in the South West and Wales to benefit as soon as possible from brand new trains which will deliver more capacity and more comfort. The first 36 trains will be bi-mode as planned.”

  • For more on this, read RAIL 802, published today (June 8).
  • For more on the IEP project, read RAIL 800. 

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  • Ben H - 09/06/2016 00:09

    I would still advocate introducing the bi-modes to the [already electrified] East Coast earlier than planned, in order to avoid deterioration of timetable performance (vs HSTs) on the Great Western Main Line before electrification. A compromise would be to introduce the first batch to London-Reading-Oxford-Worcester (GWR) (because London-Reading electrification would be ready) followed by a second batch for London-Leeds-Bradford/Skipton/Harrogate (East Coast). Both batches would ultimately be for GWR, and have the [higher-density?] GWR seating. This would be less inconvenient for London-Leeds than London-Scotland. A later batch for East Coast would displace the second-batch sets employed on London-Leeds, to GWR - when the wires reach Bristol Parkway (December 2018).

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 09/06/2016 21:12

    Soon the Class 800's, Class 801's and Class 802's would of dominated the GWML and ECML and Transpennine Express routes and the Class 43 MK3's HST's & Class 91 MK4's Intercity trains are being replaced and the ECML MK4's carriages could be used on Abellio Greater Anglia London-Norwich Intercity route in the near future and some of the Class 43's HST's and MK3 carriages could be transferred to Abellio ScotRail to be used on North of Scotland (Highland) services and some to be used for Grand Central routes unless Class 180's are to be used for Grand Central as they are being replaced by the Class 800's and Class 801's.

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    • 7D3 - 06/07/2016 11:02

      How using the Class 43 MK3's HST's & Class 91 MK4's Intercity trains on the London-Norwich route. All will be transferred from Virgin train East Coast. Class 91 IC225: London to Norwich Class 43 HST: London to Norwich, Norwich to Great Yarmouth

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