Latest Rail News

18.07.13

IEP trains confirmed for East Coast

The £1.2bn contract for Hitachi to replace the InterCity fleet on the East Coast Main Line has been finalised by the DfT today.

Hitachi will assemble 30 of the Class 800 nine-car electric trains at its Newton Aycliffe factory as part of the IEP. It follows the announcement in 2012 that Hitachi would provide rolling stock for the Great Western Main Line.

The new trains will increase reliability and cut journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle, and Edinburgh by up to 18 minutes. They will feature increased leg room, 97 extra seats per train, more access to power sockets and greater storage for bicycles.

Trains will enter service on the GWML in 2017 and on the ECML in 2018.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin, said: “By signing this deal we have provided further proof of our determination to transform Britain’s railways into a world-class operation through continued investment and state-of-the-art technology.

“This new order for Class 800 series trains is part of the Government’s commitment to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This will not only deliver significant benefits to passengers by further slashing journey times and bolstering capacity, but will also stimulate economic growth through improved connectivity between some of Britain’s biggest cities.  This is good news for rail passengers and for British manufacturing.”

Executive chairman and CEO, Hitachi Rail Europe, Alistair Dormer, said: “This follow-on order by the Department for Transport marks the successful conclusion of the Intercity Express Programme procurement process. It represents a welcome boost for Hitachi Rail Europe’s train factory in County Durham with its 730 future employees and for the British supply chain. We have already signed contracts with a significant number of suppliers in the UK and Hitachi’s procurement team is in negotiations with many more, providing jobs throughout the UK engineering supply chain.

“We are committed to the long-term development of engineering capability in the North East and aim to repeat the success of Nissan and Toyota in the automotive industry by bringing world class practices to UK train manufacturing.”

But RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “The truth is that out of pure ideology, this government is prepared to take a third gamble on their big-business friends in a desperate bid to privatise the East Coast before the election, even though they are well aware that the whole reckless exercise will cost the British a fortune in lost income.”

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

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