A bit slow with this one, better late than never – although on a Monday during the commute you can’t hear too many people say this.
The UK government has finally approved the complete Great Western electrification project that will see the line from Paddington to Cardiff electrified. The bonus news is that they have also given the go-ahead for the Intercity Express Program which will see the new Hitachi units being built. The initial order will be for 500 carriages (surely this will include the front and rear driver sections too) which will be running along to route in 2016. These will be dual diesel-electric units similar to the Bombardier Super Voyager units.
The East Coast main line will also receive the new trains running between London and Edinburgh. From the configuration details, it is likely that they configuration will be 5 carriages giving a 10 carriage configurations along busier routes. We are only looking at 100 complete train sets to run along both lines. Will this be enough. South Eastern High Speed, for instance, are using 5 car units along their Ramsgate route, and six car unit to Dover & Margate via Ashford International route. We’ll see.