Five new Hitachi Class 803 trains for East Coast Trains has begun at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
These new intercity trains for the open access operator East Coast Trains Limited require a more extensive manufacturing programme than previous fleets. The increased scope will see the highly skilled workforce create a new state-of-art fleet from empty aluminium shells.
The five fully electric East Coast Trains – to be known as Class 803s – will begin carrying passengers between Edinburgh and London from autumn 2021, offering passengers a high quality, cost effective and more sustainable alternative to flying between two of the UK’s capital cities.
These trains are part of the award-winning Class 800 series, which are currently some of the UK’s most reliable new fleets and improving passenger satisfaction.
Once in operation, East Coast Trains will have the first service of the day from London to Edinburgh, making it an attractive alternative to flying. The trains will also travel entirely in electric mode, resulting in zero-emission intercity travel.
Hitachi Rail is due to build more intercity train orders this year, which will benefit from its £8.5 million investment in welding and painting at the factory.
Ross Nagle, COO Rolling Stock UK at Hitachi Rail: “Building these East Coast Trains signifies a new and exciting chapter for Hitachi Rail’s UK factory.
“It is an important step as we increase our manufacturing capabilities and upskill our workforce at Newton Aycliffe, including investing £8.5m in new welding and painting facilities.
“The increased skills of our workforce make us well placed to deliver a number of highly significant orders over the next 12 months, and consolidate our place as a strategic North East manufacturing hub.”