The first of the new Intercity Express Programme (IEP) Class 800s is on its way to Britain.
Hitachi announced it had been despatched from its Kasado Works in Kudamatsu City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.
The train will travel by sea after being shipped from Kobe on 22 January and is expected to arrive in the UK in March. Once it arrives it will be equipped with measurement devices for testing. The train is scheduled to start test running in April. Crew training will follow.
Hitachi is currently in the process of building a Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The plant will be ready this summer. Production of the Class 800 series trains will start in 2016.
Says Alistair Dormer, Global chief executive of Hitachi Rail, ‘After unveiling this train in November last year, I am immensely proud that we today see the first shipment leave our factory in Kasado. Our engineering teams in the UK and Japan have been working exceptionally hard with all stakeholders to ensure that this train will be ready for testing in the UK from April this year onward.’