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20.06.17

First of GWR’s bi-mode Class 802s arrive in the UK from Japan

Hitachi has this week announced that the first of its new fleet of bi-mode Class 802 Intercity Express Trains (IET) that will run between London and the south west has arrived in the UK.

The five-car test train has been shipped from its factory in Japan to Southampton Port, and it will now be prepared for testing this summer before they are rolled out for passenger service next year. Two further test trains are due to arrive in the UK shortly.

From this autumn, the first wave of IETs will start to run on the GWML connecting London to key UK destinations like Reading, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff. The whole fleet of 93 trains is predicted to all be in service by the end of 2019.

The test train that arrived this week is the first of the second wave of trains that will begin running as far as Penzance along the coastal routes towards Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance from Summer 2018. The Class 802s also boast bi-mode technology which allow them to use both diesel and electric power, and are also designed to withstand the variable weather that can hit the south west coast.

Class 802 GWR GWML arrive in Southampton

“This marks another significant step towards delivering new trains, more seats, more frequent services and quicker journeys; and a step change in passenger experience on the Great Western,” said Mark Hopwood, managing director at GWR.

“The first UK built Intercity Express Train rolled off the UK production plant last December for introduction in passenger service later this year, and it is fantastic to this first train for Devon and Cornwall arrive in the UK.”

New on-board technology including real-time journey updates and seat reservation screens will also be available to passengers using the route. Capacity will also be significantly increased with the arrival of the new trains.

Berry Sas, projects director at Hitachi Rail Europe, added that the arrival of the trains took passengers travelling in the south west a step closer to experiencing the modern trains.

“Our trains are designed to ensure passengers on long journeys have a comfortable experience with more luggage space and a smooth ride,” he added.

“We are now excited to begin testing on the region’s iconic railway as we continue towards the brand new fleet entering passenger service next year.”

Mary Kenny, chief executive officer at Eversholt Rail, said “As the owner of this new fleet of IETs, we are delighted to welcome the first Class 802 to the UK.

“This is a fantastic addition to our growing portfolio. We will continue to work closely with our partners GWR and Hitachi to support a smooth transition of the Class 802 into passenger service during 2018.”

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Comments

Pwt   20/06/2017 at 12:02

A bi-mode train which offers the worst of both worlds is hardly a 'boast".

Scott   20/06/2017 at 12:26

What's the difference between class 800,801( built in U.K.) ,802....all bio mode ??

Paul H.   20/06/2017 at 14:38

Yes, it will be interesting to see how they perform during rough seas around Dawlish.

Ray Gunn   20/06/2017 at 14:48

"it will be interesting to see how they perform during rough seas around Dawlish" Even more interesting will be trying to keep up the timings on the South Devon banks thence down into Cornwall. I'm sure services will get slower.......... .

Ray Gunn   20/06/2017 at 15:00

"it will be interesting to see how they perform during rough seas around Dawlish" Even more interesting will be trying to keep up the timings on the South Devon banks thence down into Cornwall. I'm sure services will get slower.......... .

Sonning Cutting   20/06/2017 at 15:58

What a load of pessimists. At heart these dinosaurs would probably like to bring back double-headed steam trains over the Devon Banks!

Pwt   20/06/2017 at 16:20

In answer to Scott's question: as I understand it, the 802s are not part of the DfT's IE Project, hence one of the reasons for the different classification. Secondly, the 802s diesel engine management system will be set to produce more power so should be able to cope with the West of England gradients. Hitachi believe that the 802s will cope with the sea wall environment so let's give them a chance eh?

Andrew Gwilt   20/06/2017 at 23:43

The GWR Class 802's will replace the Class 43's used on London Paddington-Penzance and to operate on other routes to & from London Paddington including Paignton, Truro, Newquay, Plymouth, St Ives, Looe and Falmouth Docks. Also the GWR Class 802's may also operate on other lines in Devon and Somerset including Exmouth, Barnstaple, Exeter St. David's, Bristol Temple Meads, Bristol Parkway and Weston-super-Mare to/from London Paddington.

Nonsuchmike   21/06/2017 at 17:52

When will they ever learn, as the old protest song says. It is no good having super de-luxe all singing, all dancing, rolling stock if the trackway is smashed to smithereens; the service just stops as we saw a couple of years back. Far better would be to rebuild the Exeter - Okehampton - Plymouth route as a dualled rail trackway. Invest a few bob in that and then you have two routes both for freight and passengers. Result, as Mr Dickens wrote, happiness.

Incredulous   22/06/2017 at 00:23

Andrew, you're living with the fairies again. How many trains operate today between London Paddington and St Ives, Looe, Barnstable, Falmouth Docks and Exmouth? These are branch lines, some of which would have issues if one of these trains attempted to venture down there. Lets try and keep to some form of reality?

Andrew Gwilt   22/06/2017 at 00:54

Dream on @Incredulous.

Andrew JG   22/06/2017 at 01:05

Class 165's and Class 166's that are to be used on the branch lines in Devon and Cornwall will be transferred from the Thames Valley area and to replace the Class 150's and other rolling stocks elsewhere because of the Class 387's are replacing the Class 165's and Class 166's on the Thames Valley service with more Class 387's being delivered. With some of the Class 165's and Class 166'd to be kept on branch lines in the Thames Valley area. Whilst the Class 142's and Class 143's are soon to be scrapped and replaced by the Class 230's on other services.

West Country Man   22/06/2017 at 16:35

There are no plans as far as I'm aware to deploy any of the 165s and 166s in Devon and Cornwall. Yes, the 142s and 143s are to be withdrawn but the remaining West Country fleet is to be enhanced by 158s and additional 150s cascaded from elsewhere (no new trains for us then!). Why would GWR want to use the unproven and not yet in-production Class 230s on its West Country branch lines for which they would (in my view) be entirely unsuitable.

Revolting Peasant   03/07/2017 at 16:17

Goodness knows why the 142s are being mentioned, they're not even part of GWR's fleet. Andrew, the information is all out there if you could take the time to inform yourself.

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