Alstom brings new EMU product to UK market

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Alstom is using the UK rail trade fair Railtex to present its new regional EMU train platform for the UK.

The new AC electric multiple unit (EMU) design was submitted by Alstom as part of FirstGroup’s bid for the Greater Anglia franchise competition – a contest which was eventually won by Abellio and its preferred rolling stock supplier, Stadler.

The company is now eyeing opportunities with the West Coast Partnership and East Midlands franchises.

Alstom said the new platform would be a pure EMU, adding that it had no plans to develop a bi-mode option and instead is focussing on developing hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Presenting the platform to media representatives today (May 9) Alstom said that a UK manufacturing base could be used to build the trains if future orders justified the investment. The company’s new technology centre in Widnes, in particular, has scope for expansion.

The new UK EMU has a modular design and will consist of between four and 11 carriages. The car bodies will be constructed from welded extruded aluminium shells and use inner frame bogies. Speeds will vary between 90, 100, 125 and, potentially, 140mph (225km/h).

Alstom is using a five-car unit as its reference train. The five-car version will have the capacity for up to 500 passengers and will include two sets of double-leaf doors per carriage.

Alstom said the new trains would employ smart lighting that indicates to passengers on the platform where space is available on the train.