Hitachi Rail Europe shows its firm support for UK suppliers in building new Class 800/801 trains

8 September 2014  •  Author: Hitachi

Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. today announced that it is working with more than 30 UK-based suppliers to build trains for the first phase of train delivery Government’s Intercity Express Programme.
Of those parts, systems and operations that Hitachi Rail Europe could have sourced from the UK for the new trains, 72% have indeed been purchased from UK-based businesses.1
 
Business Secretary Vince Cable MP said: “Hitachi’s decision to work with suppliers from across the country shows that the UK is advancing as a global leader in rail manufacturing.
 
“The Government is committed to helping companies attract inward investment to develop strong, coordinated and competitive supply chains here in the UK. We have created a new Rail Supply Chain Forum to help British businesses win work both here and abroad and I am greatly encouraged to see that world leading companies such as Hitachi are placing their confidence in UK suppliers.”
 
This includes windows from Durham-based Romag, wheelsets from Lucchini UK, located in Manchester, pantographs from Somerset-based Brecknell Willis, braking and air generation equipment from Knorr-Bremse in Melksham, lighting from LPA Excil, located in Normanton, jumper cable systems from Northampton-based Harting, onboard servers from Newcastle-based Nomad Digital, partitions from TRB Lightweight Structures, luggage stacks and racks from Lordgate, both located in Huntingdon, driver safety systems from Worcester-based Arrowvale Electronics, and exhaust systems from Eminox, located in Gainsboroug.
 
The confirmation comes as the rolling stock provider published a map (see here) highlighting the locations of its various manufacturers across the UK. It shows that the company’s supply chain is drawn from many different regions, including three businesses from the North East, three from Yorkshire and the Humber, and three from the North West.
 
Today’s announcement cements the company’s commitment to supporting UK businesses and developing the rail supply chain. Following the announcement earlier this year that Hitachi Rail would be moving its global HQ to London, this is another sign of its confidence in the growing UK rail sector.
 
Jamie Foster, Procurement Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “We are delighted to be working with so many suppliers from across the UK in building our new Class 800 series trains for the Intercity Express Programme. Given the high requirements for quality and reliability of our trains, we were keen to work with companies that share our values in this regard. As the first three pre-series trains are now being manufactured in our factory, I cannot emphasise enough the high quality and quantity of services our suppliers have provided on the project thus far. We will continue working closely with each of them across the rest of the manufacturing and delivery schedule.”  

Comments from suppliers 

Phil Murray, Managing Director from Romag, said: “Securing this contract has been significant boost for Romag, its employees and our supply chain.  We needed to secure long-term contracts to secure the future of our business and the IEP contract came at a critical time.  It has also provided a springboard from which other contracts may be secured with other train builders as well as Hitachi.  We are delighted that Hitachi have shown such confidence in the North East and I’m confident we won’t disappoint.”
 
Paul Goodhand, Managing Director of Knorr-Bremse, said: “Knorr-Bremse is extremely proud to be involved with the Hitachi Super Express Train both in the initial supply of the braking system and by supporting the train through its life time. Winning this contract has secured skilled UK jobs and expertise both now and into the future for both Knorr-Bremse and its UK based supply chain. Knorr-Bremse looks forward to a developing and long relationship with Hitachi Rail Europe as this new and exciting UK train builder expands and develops more products.” 
 
Paul Bright, Operations Director at Lordgate Engineering Ltd, said: “Lordgate Engineering Limited are delighted to have signed the contract agreements with Hitachi Rail Europe and we look forward to having the opportunity to establish a long-term supply relationship for many years to come.
 
“I am grateful for the commitment Hitachi Rail Europe has demonstrated by awarding these contracts to our company; to do so sends a clear message that UK companies have the capacity to successfully secure business in today’s global market place.”
 
Chris Fawdry, Managing Director of Lucchini UK, said: “The IEP contract is fundamental to Lucchini UK. It confirms our place at the forefront of high speed wheelset technology and manufacture and is a recognition of the excellent service that we maintained when we supplied to Hitachi all the new wheelsets for the Javelin trains that are so successful on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link between St Pancras and the Kent Coast, a level of service that we continue to provide now for the maintenance of those same wheelsets and gearboxes.”

  1. 72% by value of contract, calculated for prime services and systems, ie items purchased under specification. 

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