Rolling stock leasing company Eversholt Rail has said it is “disappointed” that the government has chosen purchase new rolling stock rather than upgrade the current fleet of Intercity 225s.

The Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday (July 18) confirmed an order for 30 new trains worth around £1.2 billion as part of Phase 2 of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

Eversholt Rail said in a statement that it was disappointed by the announcement and the way it dictated to the future franchise holder what rolling stock it would have to operate on the line.

“We continue to believe that the best option would have been to let the market decide,” said Eversholt.

“On that basis we put forward a very compelling proposition to modernise the existing IC225 fleet with refurbished Mk IV carriages and new traction systems. This would have offered substantial cost savings, greatly improved levels of comfort and service for East Coast passengers and state-of-the-art on-board technology.

“We believe that refurbished Mk IV rolling stock remains an attractive option when other rail franchises are re-let, including Midland Mainline and Greater Anglia, and we look forward to discussing our offer with potential bidders in due course.”

Last year, the government placed an order for 92 trains for the Great Western Main Line, kick-starting Phase 1 of the £5.8 billion IEP scheme.