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Hitachi Rail to build high-speed trains for Trenitalia
Deal comes after Japanese firm wins nod to acquire Thales ground transportation systems business
Michael Marray 15 Nov 2023

Hitachi Rail has signed an €861 million (US$921 million) contract with Italian train operator Trenitalia for 30 ETR1000 high-speed trains, with an option for a further ten trains for an additional €287 million.

The new fleet will be manufactured at the manufacturer’s Italian factories in Naples and Pistoia, near Florence. The deliveries are scheduled to start in the spring of 2026 at a rate of eight to ten trains per year.

The trains will be used primarily for the Italian high-speed network. However, they will also be able to run across Europe, including France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands.  

The fleet is capable of travelling on different types of the national railway infrastructure – switching between different power supplies and signalling systems – to complete pan-European journeys. A cross-border service between Paris and Milan began in 2021.

The ETR1000 trains have capacity for 460 seated passengers and a top speed of 350 kilometres per hour.

Hitachi Rail was recently given European Commission regulatory clearance to proceed with its €1.66 billion acquisition of Thales Group’s Ground Transportation Systems (GTS) business. The publication of the EC approval means that the deal has now received clearance from all 13 competition authorities which reviewed the acquisition. The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority had earlier given its approval to the deal.

As a condition for the approval, Hitachi Rail will divest itself of mainline signalling businesses in France, Germany, and the UK.

GTS is a global leader in rail signalling and train control systems, telecommunications and supervision systems, and fare collection solutions.

The acquisition reinforces Hitachi Rail’s core business as a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service and maintenance, digital technology, and turnkey systems.

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