BOMBARDIER SAYS it has developed a new bi-mode variant on its Aventra EMU platform, which it expects to offer to bidders for the forthcoming East Midlands, West Coast Partnership and Cross Country franchises.

The company describes the product as ‘a high speed, high quality bi-mode train’, which it says will offer a top speed of 125mph in both electric and diesel modes.

It would also add ‘much needed seat capacity’, and Bombardier says its overall performance and passenger ambience will exceed any bi-mode train currently on the market. The train would be future-proofed to enable its diesel engine to be removed as overhead electrification extends and the development of alternative fuel technologies allows, while an option for ‘last-mile’ battery operation is also being considered.

Bombardier has developed the train at its Derby plant, where it says any orders would be built, although it also foresees potential export demand for the train too.

The Aventra is Bombardier’s new EMU platform and the successor to the highly-successful Electrostar. Bombardier has already received orders for the type from Transport for London for the Elizabeth Line and London Overground as well as Greater Anglia, South Western Railway, West Midlands Trains and c2c. The company has not built any diesel trains for the UK since the last Class 172 Turbostar DMUs for Chiltern Railways, which were delivered in 2011.