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New Intercity Express train reaches Inverness depot for testing

A new Intercity Express train has arrived at the Inverness depot for the first time today for testing.

The new Hitachi-built train is the first of a fleet of 65 Intercity Express trains that will run from Inverness and Aberdeen, via Edinburgh, to London.

Hitachi Rail has invested £5m into the Inverness depot through the £5.7bn government-led Intercity Express Programme to allow the trains to be serviced and maintained using modern technology, which the company says will mean a more reliable, “delay-free” service for passengers.

The trains will provide more seats, with up to 81 additional seats per train, more legroom and additional space for luggage and bicycles.

There will also be new on-board technology, including faster WiFi and a traffic light style seat reservation system.

A further £20m is being invested in depots across Scotland to maximise the reliability of trains, which will see the “upskilling" of depot staff and the introduction of new technology to allow the trains to be maintained and serviced in Scotland for 27 years.

Andy Rogers, Intercity Express programme director at Hitachi Rail, said: “We’ve beaten the snow and the so-called ‘beast from the east’, with the train completing its test run from Edinburgh to Inverness successfully.

“Having the train at the depot, with its new £5m investment, is an important milestone for the project and it means the start of service is a step closer for people in Scotland.

“Later this year, trains will make it easier and more pleasant for passengers to travel around the country, boosting leisure journeys, connectivity and local economies.”

Rail minister Jo Johnson, added: “We are investing in the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era to give passengers what they want – more frequent services and quicker journeys.

“The new state-of-the-art Intercity Express fleet will provide more space, more comfort and more reliability for passengers on the East Coast Line when it is introduced later this year, with 65 new trains and nearly 500 new carriages running between London and Scotland.

“These trains are part of the £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme that will bring in modern faster trains across the country.”

The trains are expected to carry Scottish passengers later this year.

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Andrew Gwilt   28/02/2018 at 16:17

Another milestone achieved for this Class 800 IET that has reached Inverness. VTEC's Class 800's and Class 801's "Azuma" IET's that could start passenger service from September this year. Unless it has been delayed until December or possibly next year that we will see the IET's operated on the ECML.

David   28/02/2018 at 20:02

What makes you say it’s delayed?

Huguenot   28/02/2018 at 20:46

The photo doesn't look like the ECML Class 800 Azuma to me. The first Azuma to visit Inverness was on a test run in December 2017 (although it may not have visited the new depot).

Andrew Gwilt   28/02/2018 at 23:30

@Huguenot. Indeed. Could be a Class 802 that was heading to Inverness depot whilst on test run.

Rob   01/03/2018 at 12:40

It's 800303 (zoomed in on picture) 😁

Anonymous   01/03/2018 at 13:14

Thanks Bob. At least someone has spotted the number of this train. And it's a 9-Car.

David   01/03/2018 at 17:04

Andrew I still want to know why you think the 800s are delayed.

Andrew Gwilt   01/03/2018 at 23:32

@David. Ok it probably isn’t delayed then. There’s my answer.

Druim Fada   02/03/2018 at 11:56

I note no one is saying anything about timings vis a vis the HSTs they will be replacing. I wonder why?

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