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Virgin Trains East Coast signs £16m deal for HST diesel engine refurb

Virgin Trains East Coast has signed a £16m contract with engine manufacturer MTU to refurbish all 35 of its diesel engines for its High Speed Train (HST) fleet.

The engines will be fitted at its Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh over the next two years, where they are currently serviced and maintained.

David Horne, managing director at Virgin trains on the east coast route, said: “The new engine replacement programme will ensure the continued strong performance of Virgin Trains’ HST fleet until the introduction of new Super Express Trains from 2018.

“We are pleased that the work to install the engines, which will also be in Virgin red, will take place in Edinburgh. We continue to play a key role in the economy of the capital and Scotland as a whole, where more than 700 of our workforce are based.”

Nicola Sturgeon, first minister of Scotland, added: “I am also delighted that the refurbishment of Virgin’s diesel engines will draw on the local skills and talents of the Craigentinny workforce.”

The news was part of a package of changes announced today (28 October), including the launch of a new service from Sterling to London on 14 December and four additional return services from May 2016 between Edinburgh and the English capital.

It has also unveiled the operator’s new Flying Scotsman train to celebrate one of the most famous names in railway history.

The unit is a re-liveried locomotive in its four-hour express service from Edinburgh to London to promote rail travel to and from Scotland.

The TOC (which is 90% owned by Stagecoach, 10% by Virgin Group) also announced that the re-livery of their fleet in ‘Virgin red’ is almost complete. The new livery was originally announced in March of this year and hit the halfway mark in August.

(Top image c. Chris Watt)


Jono   29/10/2015 at 14:46

So that's £457,000 per engine? To strip and replace worn out parts. Doesn't that seem a little steep? Surely you could just buy new engines for that price!!

John Oliver   29/10/2015 at 15:53

its not clear whether its replacement or refurbishment from the article but a lot to spend on trains with only 3 years left presumably the leasing company spending the money not the toc and they are probably planning ahead to their next job

East Coast Enterprise   30/10/2015 at 13:50

They will certainly outlive the Diesel engined javelin hybrid IEP rubbish being foisted on the Railway as a so called replacement.

EMT   12/07/2016 at 12:52

I would imagine those refurbished engines will then go to East Midlands Trains to replace their ageing VP185 engined HSTs, given there is no plan for their replacement yet.

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