Sitting comfortably: Ian in the First Class seat for EMR’s Aurora fleet, which is on display at the operator’s Prospect House headquarters in Derby.
Philip Sherratt

When the full electrification of the Midland main line was cancelled in 2017, East Midlands Railway was bound to join the list of Hitachi customers, but the good news is that it is not just buying more Class 800s – EMR’s 33x5-car Aurora bi-modes are Class 810s. The key change is the reduction from the ridiculous 26-metre vehicle length to 24 metres, the preference of all bidders in the first place. There are other changes, but for the passenger the big one is the seat, as EMR made sure from the outset it was not getting the Class 800 abominations (my description, EMR is very polite about its competition).

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