According to RailStaff analysts at the DfT argue that the Hitachi IEP offers better value for money than an equivalent fleet of Pendolino trains. They claim that an electric IEP carriage costs £2,431,389, compared to an estimated £2.7 million for the Pendolino equivalent, and a bi-mode IEP costs £2,829,187.
This is disingenuous. A fleet of Pendolinos was not the only option. These trains will replace mark 3 stock known to have a residual life
of 20 to 30 years, as well as mark 4 stock which is only 20 years old.
Existing stock currently running in HST sets could be converted for
haulage by new electric or diesel locomotives. New trailer cars with a
similar specification to mark 3 stock, seating around 76 with a decent
amount of luggage space and legroom, should cost not more than a million
Standard locomotives such as the TRAXX are available for under £3 million, which could provide traction for newly electrified routes as well as replace the class 91 fleet if these cannot be economically overhauled and brought up to date.
26 metre length is also a bad choice. The Hitachi trains will be restricted to routes which have been cleared for this length, at considerable additional expense. The additional length means that the width will be less than a shorter vehicle, probably around 10 cm less, which is a real drawback at a time when more and more people are becoming obese.