British Rail Class 802

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British Rail Class 802
Exeter St Davids - GWR 802004+802005 arriving from Penzance.JPG
A GWR Class 802 approaching Exeter St Davids
Class 802 Interior.jpg
The standard class interior of a GWR Class 802
In service18 August 2018[1]
ManufacturerHitachi Rail Europe
Built atKasado factory (Japan)
Pistoia (Italy)
Family nameA-Train
ReplacedInterCity 125
Class 180 Adelante
Class 185 Desiro
Number under construction46 x 5-car
14 x 9-car
FormationDT-M-M-M-DT (5-car)
DT-M-M-T-M-T-M-M-DT (9-car)[2]
Capacity326 (GWR 5-car)
342 (TPE 5-car)[3]
655 (GWR 9-car)[2]
327 (HT 5-car)
Operator(s)Great Western Railway
Hull Trains
TransPennine Express
Line(s) servedGreat Western Main Line
Cornish Main Line
East Coast Main Line
Car body constructionAluminium
Car length26 m (85 ft 4 in)[4]
Maximum speed
  • 125 mph (201 km/h)
  • (140 mph, 225 km/h with minor modifications)
Prime mover(s)MTU 12V 1600 R80L
Engine typeV 12
Power output700 kW (940 hp) per engine
Acceleration1 m/s2 (3.3 ft/s2)
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead lines
Current collection methodPantograph
Safety system(s)AWS, TPWS, ETCS, ATP
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The British Rail Class 802 (AT300)[2][5] is a type of bi-mode multiple unit train being built by Hitachi Rail Europe for Great Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Hull Trains, based on the Hitachi A-train design.

The type will be used initially on the Great Western Main Line, running from London to Plymouth and Penzance along with the HSTs, as well as additional services to Oxford and along the Cotswold Line.[6] The first two units entered traffic on 18 August 2018.


In mid 2015, Great Western Railway announced that it had secured the procurement of 173 new rail vehicles from Hitachi Rail, with options for another 150.[6] At the time, GWR was beginning the process of introducing a new fleet of intercity trains as part of the Government's Intercity Express Programme.[7] This project involved the procurement of both wholly electric units (Class 801), and "bi-mode" trains (Class 800), powered by electric traction motors capable of running from overhead electric wires or on-board diesel generators. 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).[8]

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 trains would consist of 22 five-car and 7 nine-car units.[9][9] The option for a further 150 vehicles would be formed into another 30 five-car units.[6]

Initially, owing to Hitachi's facility at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham being at capacity, the intention was to construct the trains at the Kasado factory in Kudamatsu in Japan. However, following Hitachi's purchase of the Italian train manufacturer AnsaldoBreda, construction was moved to Hitachi's Pistoia plant,[10] with the first unit being completed in February 2018.[11]

The trains were expected to enter service with GWR from 2018[9] with the aim of reducing journey times from London to Exeter by up to five minutes, to Plymouth by up to six minutes, and to Penzance by up to 14 minutes.[9]


The Class 802s are broadly identical to the Class 800 bi-mode trains used in the Intercity Express Programme, and are used in a similar way; they run as electric trains where possible, and are equipped with the same diesel generator engines as the Class 800. However, they utilise higher engine operating power – 700 kW (940 hp) per engine as opposed to 560 kW (750 hp) – and are fitted with larger fuel tanks to cope with the gradients and extended running in diesel mode expected on the long unelectrified stretches they will operate on.[2]

Great Western Railway[edit]

In August 2016, GWR announced that it was procuring an additional 7 nine-car Class 802 sets to add to the 29 (22 x 5 and 7 x 9) units already procured.[12][13]

Main line testing of the Class 802 began in Somerset in August 2017.[14] They were due to be introduced on 16 July 2018.[15] A demonstration run for invited guests from Penzance to Exeter St Davids was held on 17 August 2018.[16] The first two units (802006 and 802007) entered traffic the following day on 18 August 2018, on a Bristol Temple Meads to Swansea service.[1] The same units were first used in passenger service in Cornwall on 20 August 2018, with the service from London Paddington to Penzance and the return to London.[17]

Hull Trains[edit]

In November 2016, Hull Trains announced that it was procuring 5 five-car AT300 sets to replace the Alstom Class 180 diesel multiple-units which it currently uses on the Hull to London service.[18] The first body shell was completed at the Kasado plant in August 2018.[19]

802201 on daytime testing at Northallerton on the ECML

TransPennine Express[edit]

TransPennine Express will receive 19 five-car Class 802 sets to operate primarily on the North Transpennine Line between Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Newcastle.[20][21][22] Production began in December 2017,[23] and testing began on the East Coast Main Line during July 2018,[24] with the fleet due to enter service from summer 2019.[25][26]

TransPennine Express have branded the new trains it is procuring under the general name Nova, with the Class 802 units branded as Nova 1.[27]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Coaches Unit nos.
Class 802/0 Great Western Railway 22 2017–19 5 802001–802022
Class 802/1 14 9 802101–802114
Class 802/2 TransPennine Express 19 5 802201–802219
Class 802/3 Hull Trains 5 5 802301–802305


On 14 September 2018 the 14:00 GWR Penzance to Paddington service broke down at 17:15 BST just north of Exeter. Passengers had to be detrained with ladders and transferred to another train.[28]

During testing of a Class 802 on the evening of 16 October 2018 ahead of its handover to GWR, severe damage was caused to 500m of overhead power lines in the Hanwell area, outside London Paddington station.[29] This led to service cancellations and delays that night and the following two days.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c d Pritchard, Robert (February 2016). "The Future for Intercity Travel". Today's Railways. Platform 5 (170): 40–43.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "AT-300: High-speed".[dead link]
  5. ^ "Directions in respect of a track access contract between Network Rail Infrastructure Limited and Hull Trains Company Limited" (PDF). Office of Rail and Road. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
  6. ^ a b c "AT300 for the West of England".
  7. ^ "£4.5 billion investment in new trains creates new jobs". Department for Transport. 25 July 2012. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Modernising the Great Western route". Network Rail. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d "UK DfT approves First Great Western's £361m Hitachi train order".
  10. ^ "Great Western AT300 trainsets to be built in Italy",, 22 December 2015
  11. ^ "Hitachi presents first Italian-built class 802 for GWR". International Railway Journal. 9 February 2018. Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  12. ^ "Great Western Railway orders more Hitachi trainsets". Railway Gazette. 3 August 2016. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  13. ^ "Hitachi to build nine additional bi-mode trains for GWR".
  14. ^ "GWR's Intercity Express trains begin testing".
  15. ^ "GWR West of England Class 802s enter traffic from July 16".
  16. ^ Shaw, Neil (2018-08-17). "New train carries passengers across Devon and Cornwall for first time today". PlymouthLive. Archived from the original on 2018-08-17. Retrieved 2018-08-18.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "£60m Hull Trains electro-diesel train deal signed". Railway Gazette. 2 November 2016.
  19. ^ David Burroughs (29 August 2018). "First Hull Trains class 802 body shell completed". International Railway Jorunal. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
  20. ^ "TPE goes for loco-hauled trains for new franchise". Today's Railways. Sheffield: Platform 5. May 2016.
  21. ^ Hitachi awarded TransPennine Express multiple unit contract Railway Gazette International 31 March 2016
  22. ^ Hitachi scoops 95-car TPE train deal Rail Magazine 1 April 2016
  23. ^ "Work begins on new futuristic train fleet for TransPennine Express". Dec 19, 2017. Retrieved Dec 26, 2017.
  24. ^ David Briginshaw (25 July 2018). "Testing starts of first TransPennine Express Nova 1 trains". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Summer arrival for first TPE '802/2s'".
  26. ^ "A major production year for the new TransPennine Express fleet".
  27. ^ "TransPennine Express - Together February 2018".
  28. ^ "Hundreds stranded on new high-speed train in Devon". BBC News. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  29. ^ "Paddington station: Passengers face major disruption". 17 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Paddington station: 'Near normal' service after rail chaos". 18 October 2018.