Latest Rail News

25.07.12

IEP contract finally approved

The £4.5bn InterCity Express Programme (IEP) contract has been approved after multiple delays.

The new trains will replace Britain’s InterCity 125 fleet.

The consortium, led by Hitachi, will build 596 carriages at a new train facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The 92-train fleet will provide 730 skilled jobs, as well as 200 jobs during the construction of the factory, the consortium said.

Construction at the site is expected to begin in 2013 and be fully operational by 2015.

European rail research and development capabilities will also be located on site, and maintenance depots will be built or upgraded at Bristol, Swansea, west London and Doncaster.

The fleet of electric and bi-mode trains has faster accelerating capabilities, which will enable more frequent services to be provided. They will operate in five- or nine-car configurations and are expected to be good for 27.5 years of usage.

They have long been controversial in the industry, especially the bi-mode factor: many commentators have questioned the specified need for under-floor diesel traction for use on the unelectrified parts of the network, arguing that it would be far more sensible to have all electric trains and hitch up a diesel locomotive to haul the carriages when necessary. Plus, the Coalition Government has so far been much more willing to invest in the infrastructure to electrify new routes than the previous Government – a trend which should continue, as each piece of electrification improves the business case for the next and for in-fill schemes.

Agility Trains was announced as the preferred bidder in early 2009, but a series of delays have pushed back confirmation of the contract until today.

The new trains will now enter service on the Great Western Main Line in 2017 and the East Coast Main Line by 2018.

Greening said the factory would help bring about a thriving UKmanufacturing sector and added that the new trains would provide faster and more comfortable journeys.

She said: “Hitachi is the latest major international company to invest on this scale inBritain and I look forward to this new factory in County Durham following in the footsteps of Nissan’s successful car plant inSunderland.

“There can also be fewer stronger signs that the UK is the best place in which to invest, and from which to develop new markets, than Hitachi’s decision to base its European manufacturing base right here in Britain.”

Alistair Dormer, chief executive officer of Agility Trains said: “It is among the biggest contracts ever closed in theUKrail industry and will mean a step change in reliability, capacity and comfort to British passengers.”

Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC welcomed the announcement, but added that the procurement process had been “contentious”.

He said: “Some of the earlier scope of the project has been changed because of subsequent Government decisions to electrify parts of the rail network.

“Train companies believe that the key to delivering better value for money is to ensure that they play a bigger role in shaping rolling stock solutions through the competitive franchising process.”

Corin Taylor, senior economic adviser at theInstituteofDirectors, said: “It’s good to see the IEP contract finally signed. Businesses will welcome more carriages and faster trains, particularly coupled with the extra electrification announced last week. It will be crucial to monitor the contract closely to ensure that the new trains arrive on time, on budget, and to the correct specifications.”

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith highlighted the extra seating the new trains would provide and said that detailed research was needed to determine the internal layout of the rolling stock, and what this would mean for passengers in terms of space.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Mikeb   28/07/2012 at 14:49

We were originally informed that the first batch of IEPs would arrive in kit-form from Japan for assembly and after that, full manufacturing would begin at Newton Aycliffe using a UK supply chain. Some doubt has recently crept in amongst many rail pundits and the question to be asked therefore is what will be manufactured at Newton Aycliffe and what components will come from UIK suppliers?

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC news his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC news his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Regional leaders call for HS2 to be completed all the way

21/06/2019Regional leaders call for HS2 to be completed all the way

HS2 must be completed all the way to the North and integrated with Northern Powerhouse Rail to achieve the maximum impact on rebalancing the UK&r... more >
Leading Women in Rail campaigner Anna Delvecchio honoured with portrait plaque at London Transport Museum

20/06/2019Leading Women in Rail campaigner Anna Delvecchio honoured with portrait plaque at London Transport Museum

Anna Delvecchio, the Rail Sector Deal co-lead and Amey’s commercial account director, has received unique recognition from the Rail Supply ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC news his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC news his organisation could issue future rail franchises

By Ewan Quayle, Rail Technology Magazine Reporter Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on R... more >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projec... more >
Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

12/03/2019Women in rail - is the industry on the right track?

RTM sits down with Samantha Smith, sole female member of the TransPennine Route Upgrade Alliance Leadership Team, to find out more about encourag... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

05/06/2019Apprentice to Co-leading the Rail Sector Deal

In a series of Q&A’s with key speakers on the run up to TransCityRail Midlands, we caught up with TransCityRail panellist and Amey&rsqu... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

20/06/2019Challenging perceptions of apprenticeships in the rail industry with Anna Delvecchio

RTM talks exclusively to one of the rising stars of the industry and Transport’s Woman of the Year 2018, Anna Delvecchio. Amey’s... more >
Hitachi trains for Happy trains

10/06/2019Hitachi trains for Happy trains

ScotRail project manager Kirsty Devlin discusses the withdrawal of Class 365s, to be replaced with the brand-new Class 385 fleet. While Scot... more >
Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

10/06/2019Malcolm Holmes on new stations for the Black Country

Malcolm Holmes, executive director of the West Midlands Rail Executive, described the new stations set to be built for the Black Country region o... more >
The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

10/06/2019The skills bottleneck: Dealing with growing apprenticeship demand

Richard Turner, head of apprenticeships at Network Rail, details the reasons for growing apprenticeship demand in the rail sector over the coming... more >