Hitachi Rail Europe has signed a contract with GB Railfreight to help with the testing and commissioning of the Class 800 and Class 801 trains for the Great Western Main Line as part of the Intercity Express Programme.
GB Railfreight will provide locomotives for transit movements and train crew throughout the test programme. Says Keith Jordan, Managing Director, Hitachi Rail Europe, ‘Hitachi Rail Europe is dedicated to delivering the Class 800 series trains into service on schedule and for this, it is highly important to have the right partner to support our testing programme.
‘GB Railfreight have shown that they align well with the Intercity Express Programme requirements and locations, offering a highly proactive response to the scenarios we need to test.’
Hitachi Rail will build the first pre-series Class 800/801 trains in the company’s factory in Kasado, Japan, and they will be shipped to the UK for testing in early 2015. Subsequent trains will be manufactured in the newly constructed train factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. In 2012 Agility Trains signed a contract with the Department for Transport to build, finance and maintain 596 train carriages for the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line as part of the Intercity Express Programme. Hitachi Rail Europe and John Laing are the main shareholders in Agility Trains.
This summer the Secretary of State for Transport announced an additional contract for the provision of another 270 carriages for the East Coast Main Line, bringing the total number of train carriages to 866. The trains will be provided in 5-car and 9-car formations either fully electric (Class 800) or as bi-mode trains (Class 801).