First UK built Intercity Express Train unveiled at Hitachi facility in County Durham
9 December 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, European Railway Review
Hitachi Rail Europe unveils the first Intercity Express train to be built in the UK at its manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Joined by Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, Minister for Northern Powerhouse, Andrew Percy, and Ambassador of Japan in the UK, Koji Tsuruoka, Hitachi Rail Europe celebrates the first Intercity Express (IEP) train to be built in the UK at its £82m facility in Newton Aycliffe which opened in September 2015. With the aim of becoming a hub of innovation in the North East, the site is expected to employ approximately 900 people by spring 2017.
In addition to building new fleets, Hitachi will maintain the trains at newly built facilities.
“As our new IEP trains become operational, they will bring UK rail travel firmly into the 21st century”
Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe, Karen Boswell said: “Today is a celebration of the return of train manufacturing to the North East, supporting thousands of jobs and developing a strong engineering skills base in the region. Trains running across the country’s rail network will be built by a proud workforce harnessing the best of Hitachi’s long standing rail expertise. The company that built the world famous bullet trains is now building the next generation of UK trains, which will deliver a step change in intercity travel, offering more capacity, greater comfort and a lower carbon footprint.
“HRE is committed to the transformation of UK rail. As our new IEP trains become operational, they will bring UK rail travel firmly into the 21st century. Today’s launch comes at an exciting time for UK rail and we welcome the Government’s recent commitment to further investment in rail infrastructure and the digitisation of Britain’s railways. As a global rail pioneer, our cutting-edge digital technology and long-term commitment to the UK means Hitachi is well positioned to deliver these exciting programmes and transform passenger journeys.”
Hitachi Rail Europe will supply 122 intercity trains for Great Western and East Coast main lines
Part of the Government-funded £5.7bn programme to modernise UK intercity travel, today’s unveiling marks a major milestone in the introduction of IEP. As part of the programme, Hitachi Rail Europe will supply 122 modern intercity trains for passengers travelling on the Great Western and East Coast main lines.
“It’s a great privilege to be given a tour of these new facilities which will provide a big economic boost for the North East. This factory will also start producing our new Azuma trains in 2017 and we’re looking forward to them entering service and transforming the experience on the east coast,” said David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains East Coast.
Managing Director of Great Western Railway, Mark Hopwood added: “We are delighted to be here to witness the unveiling of this first UK built train, which passengers can expect to see operating on our network next summer and in regular timetabled service in autumn.
“The new trains will provide a step change in passenger experience across the Great Western network; and will result in more frequent and faster journeys, and an increase in the number of seats available.
“These, and a range of further passenger benefits, will enable communities and businesses across the Great Western network to prosper.”