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Newton Aycliffe factory contract signed

Hitachi Rail Europe has signed the contract for the construction of its new UK train factory. Merchant Place Developments will build the rolling stock manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, Durham.

The £82m investment will be initially used to build Super Express Trains for IEP and use on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, and will have the potential to be used for other orders in the future.

The factory will provide long-term employment for 730 people. An archaeological exploration is currently being carried out on site and construction is expected to begin at the end of 2013.

Alistair Dormer, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Hitachi Rail Europe said: “The close of contract with Merchant Place Development signals a new phase in Hitachi’s commitment to the British rail industry.

“By investing substantially in our train factory, we are creating employment opportunities for a large number of engineers and technicians in the North East of England, which has a strong tradition of engineering skills. We are keen to fill our order books, building trains here in the UK – for use in Britain and for exporting to continental Europe.”

Geoff Hunton, director of Merchant Place Developments, said: “This is the formal element of bringing Hitachi Rail Europe to the North East. We have taken the design of the plant to a detailed stage and have been in discussions with suppliers and contractors so that we are ready to move ahead with the development programme.”

Further contracts will be awarded over the next few months.

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Image c. Ryder Architecture


Mikeyb   19/05/2013 at 17:17

Two questions, if anyone can answer them: 1. What happened to Hitachi's partnership with John Laing, as part of Agility Trains? I was under the impression that Laings would be arranging construction of both the factory and train maintenance depots but this responsibility seems now to be contracted to a third-party. 2. What, if anything will be manufactured at Newton Aycliffe? The latest thought is that it will indeed be merely an assembly plant with all major components being brought in from Japan and elsewhere.

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