Class 800 begins journey to the UK
7 January 2015 • Author: Hitachi Rail Europe
Hitachi has announced today that it has begun shipment of the first completed pre-series Class 800 train unveiled in November 2014. The train has been produced for the UK Department for Transport’s (DfT) Intercity Express Programme (IEP), and following its recent completion is now being shipped from Kasado Works in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
This project is being undertaken based on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) scheme led by the DfT. Financial support is being provided by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), among other organisations.
The train being shipped will arrive in the UK in March 2015, after which it will be equipped with various measurement devices for testing. This train is scheduled to begin running tests, as well as serving for training of on-board staff, from April 2015. The running tests are to be carried out on the UK rail network by Hitachi Rail Europe, to enable acceptance by Agility Trains, the special-purpose company that will own the trains, and who will provide the trains for the operating companies First Great Western and Inter City Railways.
The train shipped today will arrive at Kobe Port on 22 January 2015, and will be bound for the UK after being loaded on a large ship.
Hitachi is currently in the process of building a Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Hitachi Rail Europe in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, in the UK. This plant, which represents an investment of approximately £82 million, will be completed in summer 2015, and production of Class 800 series trains is scheduled to begin in 2016. The hiring of employees for the train plant has already begun, and a total of approximately 730 staff members are eventually expected to be hired, including research and development facilities staff.
Alistair Dormer, Global CEO of Hitachi Rail, said: “After unveiling this train in November 2014, I am immensely proud that we today see the first shipment leave our factory in Kasado. Our engineering teams in the UK and Japan have been working exceptionally hard with all stakeholders to ensure that this train will be ready for testing in the UK from April 2015 onward.”