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Prime Minister opens Hitachi train manufacturing facility in the North East

3 September 2015  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

UK train manufacturing has returned to the North East following the opening of Hitachi’s new £82 million facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Hitachi train manufacturing facility opens in the North East

The new train manufacturing facility, Hitachi’s first in Europe, was opened on the 03 September 2015 by Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP alongside Hitachi Ltd Chairman and CEO, Hiroaki Nakanishi.

The opening follows the government’s decision to award the £5.7 billion Intercity Express (IEP) contract to Hitachi for the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line. In addition, the site will manufacture 70 AT200 commuter trains for Scotland.

The first Hitachi manufactured IEP train will enter passenger service on the Great Western line in 2017 continuing with East Coast in 2018

Welcoming the opening, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “This massive investment from Hitachi shows confidence in the strength of Britain’s growing economy. This new train facility will not only provide good jobs for working people but will build the next generation of intercity trains, improving travel for commuters and families, as well as strengthening the infrastructure we need to help the UK grow.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:  “Today we see a major boost for the UK with Hitachi investing millions in returning train manufacturing to the North East. This state of the art facility will grow and secure jobs for decades to come and will help us to build the Northern Powerhouse, while at the same time revitalising one of our oldest industries in the region within which this tradition is synonymous.”

Hitachi train manufacturing facility opens in the North East

Hitachi UK train manufacturing facility under construction

The new trains are set to revolutionise journeys to Bristol, the Cotswolds and South Wales and to Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, with more seats on each train, more services, reduced journey times and improved reliability.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin MP said: “The state-of-the-art IEP trains that will be manufactured here will transform rail travel for countless passengers between London, the north east and south west. Not only will these trains allow us to operate more services, with more seats, and faster journeys, the improvements will also bring great opportunities for growth, generating hundreds of jobs in the local area and thousands across the country within the supply chain.”

Chairman and CEO of Hitachi Ltd, Hiroaki Nakanishi, added: “Today is a momentous occasion for Hitachi Rail, Newton Aycliffe and the British rail industry. We have brought train design and manufacturing back home to its birthplace in the North East.”

“In our world-class facility we will combine the best of Japanese technology with the best of British manufacturing to make the best trains for Britain and the world.”

Hitachi train manufacturing facility opens in the North East

“It is our culture as a business to take a long-term view in everything we do. From our investment here in Newton Aycliffe, to our network of new train maintenance centres across the UK, to our ongoing work in building a strong regional supply chain – Hitachi is here to stay.”

In reaction to today’s opening ceremony and the manufacture of AT200 trains for Scotland, Dominic Booth, Managing Director of Abellio UK, said: “As the opening of Hitachi’s train manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe shows, it is all systems go for new faster, quieter and longer trains for Scotland. These 70 brand new trains will deliver shorter journey times, greater capacity and better quality of service for passengers.

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