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First Class 800 train for IEP lands in UK

The first of Hitachi’s pre-series Class 800 trains for the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) has been unloaded at the Port of Southampton. 

Prior to the unloading of the train carriages from the ship ‘Tamerlane’, which has arrived from Kasado Works in Yamaguchi, Japan, rail minister Claire Perry MP told an audience that the new trains are “fantastic news for Britain”. 

The unloading marks an important milestone in the £5.7bn IEP, and it was also the first time that UK stakeholders have been able to view the train that will run on the East Coast and Great Western main lines. 

Andy Barr, COO at Hitachi Rail Europe, said he was pleased to welcome the “on-time” delivery of the first IEP train. He was also pleased to mention yesterday’s signing of the ScotRail deal with Abellio for AT200 trains that will be run in Scotland from late 2017.  

The first train (800-001) will now undergo testing to get the fleet ready for service on Great Western from 2017 and East Coast from 2018. All 122 trains will be in service by 2020, noted the DfT. 

This pre-series train is scheduled to begin running tests, as well as serving for training of onboard staff, from April of this year. This will take place on a closed circuit at Old Dalby testing facility and in a Signal Protected Zone (SPZ) on the East Coast Main Line.

Perry said: “It is hugely exciting to witness the arrival of the first state-of-the-art IEP train on British soil. These trains will transform rail travel for passengers travelling between many of the great towns and cities of England, Scotland and Wales; provide a massive jobs boost for Britain and deliver billions of pounds of benefits for our economy.” 

The first Class 800 train was built in Hitachi’s Kasado works and contains components from almost 30 UK-based suppliers. Once Hitachi’s new £82m facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, opens later this year the majority of the 866 carriage fleet will be manufactured in the UK, creating hundreds of jobs locally and thousands in the wider UK supply chain. 


The DfT added that a total of 110 IEP trains will be manufactured at the Newton Aycliffe site, creating 730 jobs locally.

Barr said: “The arrival of the first train here in the UK is a major achievement for everybody involved in building this train – our colleagues in Japan, our UK suppliers and also the team from Newton Aycliffe, who worked on this train in Japan to hone their train-building skills. Today marks a new departure in the IEP for Hitachi Rail Europe, as we enter the test phase and build up to the opening of our Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in the autumn of this year.”

(Image: c. Hitachi Rail Europe)

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email 


Simon James   13/03/2015 at 19:32

Oooh look a white Javelin train. What a come down for the country which once exported rail technology and trains to the world.

Anthony Lloyd   13/03/2015 at 19:42

Good news for UK jobs let's hope this is not just a one off and more new trains can be built in the U.K.

Wimg   14/03/2015 at 10:47

"Ohh, what a come down for the country which once exported rail technology and trains to the world." when was that .. ?

Rich   14/03/2015 at 18:05

I think I have got to agree with the other commentators. Just exactly what does Japan purchase from us ? Our guys have to go to Japan and learn how to build a train ??? Doesn't this really speak volumes about how engineering is viewed by the politicians in this country as opposed to the corrupt banking and world recession making financial sectors. I wonder. What Isambard Kingdom Brunel and George Stephenson would make of it ? Oh and I forgot the Japanese trains still run on the same similarly designed rails that Stephenson designed and built nearly 200 years ago

GTH   16/03/2015 at 12:41

Assembly in the UK, do we assume bodies & bogies will all come from Japan. Scotland also supporting Japan. Poor old Bombardier.

Mikeyb   17/03/2015 at 15:44

GTH It is understood that the new factory will be merely an assembly line, with all the parts coming from Hitachi in Japan and sub-contractors in Britain and Europe. Perhaps at some point in the future, bogies and other major components will be manufactured on site at an expanded Newton Aycliffe plant but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Pedr   26/03/2015 at 12:32

There is at least one small railway in the UK that builds carriages for itself, and for other small railways. In business since 1832 (sic). Caesar, are all thy glories, conquests, triumphs, Shrunk to this small measure?

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