Latest Rail News

09.12.16

Hitachi unveils first UK-built Class 800 train

Hitachi Rail Europe has unveiled the first Intercity Express (IEP) train built in the UK during an event at its manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The train is one of the 122 Class 800s being built as part of the programme. The first of these was built in the company’s Japan facility, but the majority of the fleet will now be built domestically.

The event was attended by the transport secretary Chris Grayling, Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy and Koji Tsuruoka, the ambassador of Japan in the UK, who were invited to view and board the first of the new IEP trains being built at the facility.

This first train leaving Hitachi’s UK production line marks a major milestone ahead of the introduction of IEP, the £7.5bn government programme designed to modernise travel between UK cities.

In a statement, Grayling said: “We are determined to take the big decisions for Britain and are investing record amounts to modernise the rail network, deliver better journeys for passengers and drive economic growth.

“This first train to roll out of Hitachi's new factory in Newton Aycliffe shows we are open for business and will provide a real economic boost to the north east, not only by providing jobs but also by investing in the skills needed to provide the transport network our country needs for the future.”

Percy also hailed the project’s implications for the Northern Powerhouse, which he said has created 187,000 jobs in the past year alone.

“The high-tech Hitachi trains produced here in the north east will create thousands more jobs along the line and help get the north firing on all cylinders,” he added.

The managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, Karen Boswell, argued that the trains, which will also be maintained at the facility, are being built by a “proud workforce harnessing the best of Hitachi’s longstanding rail expertise”.

“As our new IEP trains become operational, they will bring UK rail travel firmly into the 21st century,” she continued. “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.”

The first of Great Western Railway’s (GWR’s) Class 800 fleet took its maiden voyage in July this year, and has since undergone two test runs by Network Rail during a trip between Reading to Didcot.

Hitachi, whose projects director Andy Rogers spoke to RTM in August about the new trains, has also begun testing digital technology on the fleet.

By the end of the IEP, Hitachi will have supplied 122 Class 800s for passengers travelling on the Great Western and East Coast main lines, offering improved levels of capacity, reliability and comfort to passengers. Separately, it will also deliver 36 trains for GWR’s Devon and Cornwall routes, 19 for TransPennine Express, and five for Hull Trains as part of its jam-packed order book.

The managing director of GWR, Mark Hopwood, said that passengers can expect to see the trains operating from next summer and in regular timetable service by 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,” Hopwood argued. “These, and a range of further passenger benefits, will enable communities and businesses across the Great Western network to prosper.”

(Image: c. Paul Bigland)

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Comments

Isambard Jean-Jacques Brunel   09/12/2016 at 12:45

Hitachi's order book would be 'ram-packed' of course, if Jeremy was sat in Karen's chair.

Mikeyb   09/12/2016 at 15:22

UK-built Class 800s! However, I suspect that, at present, all major components are manufactured in Hitachi's factories in Japan. Whether Hitachi will establish on-site facilities for the manufacture of such items as aluminium bodyshells, bogies etc or whether they will be outsourced to worldwide suppliers remains to be seen. Until then Newton Aycliffe will be merely a "screwdriver" assembly line.

Andrew Gwilt   09/12/2016 at 17:00

Hitachi does have competition with rival train manufactures-Bombardier, Siemens, CAF, Alstom and Stadler. Plus jobs will be created and new carriages and locomotives are being manufactured and to replace the older rolling stock trains. Bombardier are finishing off building the 45 Class 387's "Electrostar" EMU's for GWR and the last "S-Stock" (S7) Sub-surface train (total of 192 S-Stocks on the London Underground Sub-surface lines) for the District Line and are currently working on building the new Elizabeth Line Class 345's (66 Class 345's) and London Overground Class 710's (45 Class 710's) and new "Aventra" trains for (Abellio) Greater Anglia to replace the older rolling stocks. Which 6 Class 387's have been completed and are to be hired for National Express c2c for up to 3 years before new EMU trains are to be ordered for c2c. Siemens are currently building 115 Class 700's "Desiro City" EMU's for GTR Thameslink (60 8-Car and 55 12-Car Class 700's) and are to start building 30 new Class 707's (5-car) trains for South West Trains and 25 Class 717's (6-car) trains for GTR Great Northern from next year/2018-onwards. CAF are going to build and manufacture 12 brand new Class 397's "Civity" for Transpennine Express to replace the Siemens "Desiro" Class 350/4's. As well building and manufacturing 55 Class 195's DMU's and 43 Class 331's EMU's "Civity" fleet for Arriva Northern Trains to replace the Class 142's and Class 144's "Pacers" and other older rolling stocks. Stadler are to build the new "Flirt" EDMU and EMU trains for Greater Anglia to replace the current older rolling stocks used on West Anglia, Intercity, Great Eastern and Regional-rural routes in East Anglia. With Class 379's "Electrostar" rolling stocks to be used on GTR Great Northern or c2c.

AJG1989   10/12/2016 at 15:02

The future of British built trains from different train manufacturers is why we have got the best railway infrastructure in the world. And with HS2 planned to be built and it will take at least 8-10 years to be completed from London to Birmingham, West Midlands, East Midlands, Manchester, Northern England and HS2 will also merge with HS1 with continental services from Europe. London's transportation is boosting and more people are using trains. New trains do bring more opportunities and more trains are built then people are more likely to use trains as it will get people off roads and onto rails. Hitachi are always committed to manufacture and construct new rolling stocks to improve better rail services for the UK.

Unknown User   10/12/2016 at 21:42

Will Hitachi be able to manufacture more new trains such as supplying new trains for other train operators and even supplying the new Tube for London Underground's Bakerloo and Piccadilly lines or Central & Waterloo and City lines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Tube_for_London

Andrew Gwilt   12/12/2016 at 11:42

Can I ask. Who deleted my comments? Did the moderator actually deleted my comments. If so why? Thats actually disrespectful.

Jaeger   21/03/2017 at 14:43

Why are we ordering 'new' diesel loco's? I thought the idea was we were moving forward and going all out electric?

Hougt   22/08/2017 at 06:14

Think they are testing them out on the Cardiff to Bristol lines at the moment. Have seen a couple of them coming through Severn Tunnel Junction but not taking passengers. Really impressive trains.

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