EMR unveils Aurora bi-mode details

East Midlands Railway has revealed details of the specification of the 33x5-car Class 810 Aurora bi-modes it has ordered from Hitachi for Midland main line services, financed by Rock Rail. The first Aurora units are due to enter service in early 2023.

The Class 810s are based on Hitachi’s AT300 platform but have been designed specifically for EMR’s requirements. Rather than the 26-metre vehicles elsewhere, the bodyshell has been redesigned for a shorter carriage length of 24 metres, enabling a pair of units to be accommodated in the platforms at St Pancras.

To offer improved performance in diesel mode, each five-car Aurora will have four diesel power packs, with the MTU engines having a slightly higher rating of 735kW. The centre car, which will not have a power pack, will house the transformer. Each unit will have two pantographs, one on each driving vehicle, while the traction motors will be on the second and fourth vehicles. Aurora will be the first project for which Hitachi will weld panels together at its Newton Aycliffe plant in the UK following an investment at the factory.

The interior will feature a new seat design, which is an adaptation of the FISA Lean seat used on Greater Anglia’s Stadler Flirt EMUs and BMUs. EMR promises the seat pitch will be generous and better or equivalent to other Hitachi inter-city trains with other UK operators. Each five-car set will offer 301 seats – 254 standard and 47 first class. There will be two universal access toilets, one in each driving vehicle, and two compact toilets at either end of the centre Trailer Standard vehicle.

Hitachi will build five pre-series units for EMR, the first of which is due to be completed towards the end of the summer.