In mid 2015, Great Western Railway announced that it had secured the procurement of 173 new rail vehicles from Hitachi Rail, with further options for another 150 vehicles. At the time, GWR was beginning the process of introducing a brand new fleet of intercity trains as part of the Government’s Intercity Express Programme. This project involved the procurement of both wholly electric units (Class 801), and “bi-mode” trains (Class 800), capable of running either using OHLE or on-board diesel traction. These trains were intended to replace the existing High Speed Trains following the electrification of the Great Western Main Line. However, electrification will only go as far as Bristol, with the route beyond requiring diesel traction (hence the need to procure trains capable of operating without overhead wires). The purchase of 173 additional vehicles was with the intention that these new bi-mode trains, similar to the Class 800s, would be used on services into Devon and Cornwall. These new trains would consist of 22 five-car and 7 nine-car units. The option for a further 150 vehicles would be formed into another 30 five-car units.
[THIS RESKIN IS ELECTRIC ONLY AND DOES NOT FEATURE A DIESEL MODE]