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New Hitachi facility opens its doors and unveils first Class 800

RTM was at the opening ceremony of Hitachi's new £82m state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, today (3 September). 

The event, attended by over 500 rail professionals, politicians and other figureheads, showcased the expansive new location – as big as six football pitches – where the new Class 800 bi-mode Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains will be built. 

They will combine Japanese technology with British manufacturing to create what prime minister David Cameron, present at the ceremony, described as a “complete revival of UK manufacturing” - particularly in the north east. 


The first unit of the 122 trains ordered, originally built in Japan and already complete, boasted its white livery with red splashes as the black curtains dropped at the end of the event, setting the standard for the future trains to come. 

Alistair Dormer, CEO of Hitachi Global, also announced that 95% of the Hitachi Rail Europe facility spend will come from suppliers within a 50-mile radius of the site – in a sincere effort to keep production local and support the national industry. 

Cameron said: “This massive investment from Hitachi shows confidence in the strength of Britain's growing economy. This new train facility will not only provide good jobs for working people but will build the next generation of intercity trains, improving travel for commuters and families, as well as strengthening the infrastructure we need to help the UK grow.” 

He added that it marked a next step for revived manufacturing in the country and would be an excellent source of jobs and enhanced skills for the north. 

20150903 Hitachi rail vehicle manufacturing facility opening

The facility has already employed over 100 staff and will increase its total to 400 by Easter, progressively employing more professionals from then on. 

They intend to provide the country with “engine room for driving growth” and have pledged to build far more trains than the IEP delivery, set to roll out from 2017. As Dormer said at the event – and other company leaders reiterated – the facility “is here to stay for a long time”. 

Read more about the new facility in the next edition of RTM. 


Andrew Gwilt   03/09/2015 at 23:22

Brilliant news. Now Hitachi can crack on building the Class 800 and Class 801 Intercity Express Program (IEP) AT300 trains for Great Western Railway, Virgin Trains East Coast and First Hull Trains with the AT200's to be built for Abellio Scotrail.

Lutz   05/09/2015 at 14:53

Will this plant take on the heavy rail work that was formerly undertaken at its recently acquired Italian business?

Blumu   10/09/2015 at 10:15

What a cracking launch when the curtain dropped I was speechless. Good to see it for real and in such dramatic style.

Michael   27/10/2015 at 10:58

The AT300s will all be built in Japan. Poor planning by the DfT and others has resulted in a bottleneck at Newton Aycliffe which will not now be able to cope with the AT300s as well as the other orders. The irony is that the Class 800-1s are likely to be sitting about waiting for the GW wires to go up anyway. What a mess. They couldn't organise the proverbial ...

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