New Intercity Express trains arrives in Inverness

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  • Next generation Intercity Express train arrives at Inverness depot for testing for the first time, ahead of trains carrying Scottish passengers later this year
  • Passengers will benefit from more reliable services with the introduction of modern trains and the £5 million invested by Hitachi Rail in the depot as part of the government-led Intercity Express Programme.
  • Modern trains will offer more seats, more legroom and better on-board technology, including fast Wi-Fi
  • Faster acceleration will reduce journey times to the rest of the UK

A new Intercity Express train has arrived in Inverness depot for the first time today, ahead of improving passenger journeys when they enter service later this year.

The Hitachi-built train, which will offer customers more seats, space and improved on-board technology, is doing test runs in Scotland and giving depot staff the chance to familiarise themselves with the train.

A £5 million investment has been made at Inverness depot, by Hitachi Rail through the government-led Intercity Express Programme, to allow the trains to be serviced and maintained using modern technology, this in turn will mean more reliable, delay-free journeys for passengers.

New fleet of Intercity Express trains in Scotland

The new train, which draws from world leading Japanese bullet train technology, is the first of a fleet of 65 Intercity Express trains that will run from Inverness and Aberdeen, via Edinburgh, to London.

The trains will offer customers far more seats – with up to 81 extra per train – as well as more legroom and space for luggage and bicycles.

Passengers will also benefit from new on-board technology, including faster Wi-Fi, and a traffic-light style seat reservation system.

In a first for a UK passengers, the Intercity Express trains , which are already in operation on the Great Western Mainline, are a hybrid. They can run on either electric or diesel power, meaning they are both more flexible and better for the environment.

Under electric power the trains will produce no emissions and have a maximum speed of 125mph. Yet, even in diesel mode, harmful emissions, like PM10 and NOx, will be reduced by up to 90%, compared to older trains (like the 40 year-old HST).

Hitachi Rail’s wider investment in Scotland

The new trains and depot infrastructure are being built as part of the UK Government-led £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme that is also supported by Hitachi’sinvestment in their £82m purpose-built factory at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

A further £20 million is being invested in depots across Scotland, at sites including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness, to maximise the reliability of trains for passengers.

This will see upskilling of depot staff and the installation of new technology to allow the trains to be maintained and serviced in Scotland for 27½ years.

The move will also see around 300 people employed in depots in across the country and a renewed focus on bringing new talent into the industry.

The Intercity Express trains that are due to run on the East Coast Main Line are just one of three different fleets that Hitachi is building for Scotland.

There are also 70 Class 385 electric commuter trains, which will run between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and 19 Transpennine Express trains that will connect Northern England with major cities in Scotland.

Andy Rogers, Intercity Express Programme Director, at Hitachi Rail said:

“We’ve beaten the snow and the so-called ‘beast from the east’, with the train completing its test run from Edinburgh to Inverness successfully.

“Having the train at the depot, with its new £5m investment, is an important milestone for the project and it means the start of service is a step closer for people in Scotland.

“Later this year, trains will make it easier and more pleasant for passengers to travel around the country, boosting leisure journeys, connectivity and local economies.”

Rail Minister Jo Johnson said:

“We are investing in the biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era to give passengers what they want – more frequent services and quicker journeys.

“The new state-of-the-art Intercity Express fleet provide more space, more comfort and more reliability for passengers on the East Coast Line when they are introduced later this year, with 65 new trains and nearly 500 new carriages running between London and Scotland. These trains are part of the £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme that will bring in modern faster trains across the country.”

Work begins on new futuristic train fleet for TransPennine Express

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  • Production of new intercity trains connecting northern England and Scotland has started with exclusive images released
  • 19 new five carriage trains harnessing Japanese bullet train technology to enter service in 2019
  • This is the third fleet being built for TransPennine Express. Together, these will provide 13million more seats per year
  • Customers to benefit from more seats, faster journey times and improved comfort with more legroom

TransPennine Express customers are a step closer to experiencing brand new, high quality trains as Hitachi begins work an intercity fleet to start service in 2019.

Production work has begun on two test trains in Japan which will arrive in the UK next year*.

The modern Japanese bullet train inspired fleet is being built by Hitachi and financed by Angel Trains.

The trains will be maintained at Hitachi’s newly built £80million depot in Doncaster, home to 250 employees and four apprentices. Long-term jobs will also be secured at existing depots in Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh, which all play a role in maintaining the trains.

Investment in the trains and new depot come alongside the Great North Rail Project, which will upgrade key parts of the route to enable better services.

Modern trains for iconic Pennines route

From 2019 this fleet will connect major cities in the North of England and Scotland and will run from Manchester and Liverpool, across the iconic Pennines to cities such as Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The trains will provide 161 additional seats compared to the existing trains on the popular intercity route. Customers will benefit from spacious carriages, providing extra legroom and additional luggage space.

Each new train will offer fast, free Wi-Fi in both Standard and First Class as well as complimentary on-board entertainment system, Exstream, allowing customers to stream the latest movies and TV shows during their journey.

Lighter and greener hybrid trains

Hitachi is using its famous Japanese-bullet train technology to make the new fleet light and aerodynamic. The 19 trains will all be hybrid, meaning they can switch seamlessly mid-journey between electric and diesel power. The trains, able to run in either five or ten carriage formation, are capable of speeds of up to 140mph in electric mode and 125 mph using diesel engines.

By using modern MTU engines from Rolls-Royce, the trains will cut harmful emissions under diesel power by up to 90%.

David Hoggarth, Director for Rail North, said:

“These trains are game-changers. Fast efficient travel on trains fit for purpose will open up rail to new users in the business and leisure sector and is one of the key components required for growing the Northern economy through enhanced connectivity, This is great news for the North and demonstrates that visionary franchise agreements can really deliver.”

Berry Sas, Projects Director for Hitachi Rail Europe said:

“Millions of journeys along the popular transpennine route will be transformed once these pioneering intercity trains are introduced into service.

“We have invested £80million in a state-of-the-art depot in Doncaster to ensure these new trains are running in top condition for each and every journey.”

TransPennine Express Managing Director Leo Goodwin said: “The construction of our third, brand new fleet of trains is tremendously exciting news for customers.

“Once in service in 2019, these will be some of the most advanced trains in the UK and coupled with the other new trains we are having built, will provide an additional 13million seats a year.

“We are committed to supporting the northern economy and are pleased that the fleet, which will be maintained at locations across the north and in Scotland will be supporting 250 long-term jobs”

Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains said:

“We are delighted that work has begun on these modern, efficient and fast trains, moving Angel Trains a step closer to the delivery of this fleet. Once delivered in 2019, hundreds of thousands of TransPennine Express passengers throughout the franchise period will enjoy a transformed northern inter-city travel experience. This will include a reliable, WIFI-enabled service, delivering travellers quickly and seamlessly to their destination, regardless of whether the route is electrified or unelectrified.

By procuring, financing and leasing these new bi-mode trains, Angel Trains has demonstrated its commitment to both northern investment and providing value to customers, bringing improved travel and more jobs to the region.

We have already invested over £5.0 billion in the UK rail industry and, working with our partners in the industry, we look forward to continuing to make further significant investments in rolling stock in future.”

*Notes on testing and manufacturing

The new fleet of Hitachi intercity trains (Class 802) were ordered by FirstGroup for TransPennine Express in 2016.

The trains will be built across Hitachi’s global manufacturing sites.

The first two trains to be built in Japan are test trains (802201 & 802202). Testing in the UK will begin in summer 2018 ahead of the trains entering passenger service in December 2019.

Hitachi Rail Europe: Virgin Azuma train debuts in Highlands

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Hitachi built Azuma train travelling past Gleneagles, Scotland

-Iconic train passes through one of most scenic routes on UK rail network
-Azuma set to transform cross-border services for five of Scotland’s cities
-£18m investment in Scottish depots by train manufacturer Hitachi

Virgin’s state-of-the-art Azuma train made its inaugural visit to the Highlands this weekend as preparations to transform cross-border rail services gather pace.

The iconic train, which takes its name from the Japanese word for “east”, will be rolled out on Virgin Trains’ east coast from next year, ushering in a new era of comfort and style for rail passengers.

It passed through some of the most iconic scenery on the UK rail network as it journeyed north of Edinburgh to Inverness on Friday afternoon for the first time, before travelling back to a depot in Doncaster in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The test run by manufacturer Hitachi is part of a programme to prepare Scotland for the 65-strong Azuma fleet. The first of these will enter service in December 2018 as part of a two-year rollout programme, with Azuma services due to operate from five of Scotland’s seven cities from 2019.

The Azuma is set to be one of the most advance passenger trains on the UK rail network, able to accelerate faster than existing trains and providing more comfort and space inside.

Hitachi is building the new trains at their factory in the North East of England (Newton Aycliffe, County Durham), home to 1000 train builders including 50 apprentices.

The firm has invested £18 million to modernise depots at Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh to ensure they are able to service the new fleet, securing long-term engineering jobs at all three locations.

Virgin Trains operates half-hourly services between Edinburgh and London for most of the day, with four additional services running to Aberdeen and one train a day, the Highland Chieftain, serving Stirling, Perth and Inverness.

Andy Rogers, Programme Director for Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Our rigorous test programme is moving apace ahead of the trains entering service next year. Over the next twelve months, passengers and enthusiasts will be seeing plenty more of our British-built Azuma trains testing in Scotland.”

UK Government Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “We want to put passengers at the heart of everything we do and the £5.7bn government-led investment in a new fleet of state-of-the-art intercity trains is important step in achieving that. This test run is a key milestone in the introduction of the fleet on the East Coast Main Line and it will mean more space, more comfort and more reliability for passengers up and down the country.”

Humza Yousaf, Minister for Transport and the Islands in Scotland, said: “It is very encouraging to see the new Virgin Azuma train visit Inverness, moving it another step closer to service introduction. The new fleet will offer cross-border passengers more capacity and the modern facilities we all now demand. The Scottish Government’s £5bn investment in the rail network is making a real difference across the country and I know developments like this make train travel a more attractive choice across the North and East of Scotland. This, in turn, can help drive the modal shift to rail as a regular option we are all keen to see delivered.”

David Horne, Virgin Trains Managing Director on the east coast route, added: “Azuma will bring a new era of style in long distance rail travel and we’re excited to see preparations gather pace that will help transform services for passengers across Scotland.”

 

New Intercity Express Trains for Devon and Cornwall begin testing

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Class 802 at Stoke Gifford (Bristol) depot

Passengers in the South West are a step closer to experiencing new trains as Hitachi begins testing the Class 802 fleet.

On Tuesday 8th August, the first of Great Western Railway’s Intercity Express Trains for Devon and Cornwall carried out test runs in Somerset, between Bruton and Cogload.

Two more trains are due to arrive in the South West within the coming weeks as part of a comprehensive test programme.
Modern trains designed for Devon and Cornwall

From 2018 this fleet of Class 802 Intercity Express Trains, which is being financed by Eversholt Rail, will connect London Paddington to Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance and many more communities.

Part of GWR’s new Intercity fleet, the 36 Class 802s are fitted with bi-mode technology, allowing trains to use both diesel and electric power, ensuring passengers experience new trains as soon as possible.

Passengers will benefit from more seats, better on-board facilities and shorter journey times.

The Intercity Express Train is also designed to withstand the region’s variable weather conditions, including routes along the Dawlish coast. These new trains harness Hitachi’s Japanese bullet train technology and will offer a step-change in the journey experience for passengers.

Berry Sas, Projects Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said:
“This is an exciting milestone for our team as we ensure the trains are delivered on time and in top condition. Passengers and enthusiasts will be able to catch glimpses of the new trains as they begin regular test runs in the region”

Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of GWR, said:
“We know how important the railway is to the economies and communities of the South West, and the start of testing today marks another milestone in delivering the improvements we know our passengers wish to see.

“These trains will help us deliver faster, more frequent services into the South West, each providing up to a fifth more seats per train.”

Great Western Railway increases Hitachi Intercity fleet size with new multi-million pound order

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Great Western Railway (GWR) has confirmed it will order an additional seven bi-mode Intercity Express Trains as part of a new multi-million pound deal with Hitachi Rail Europe and its finance partner Eversholt Rail Group.

These trains are in addition to the 57 trains Hitachi Rail is delivering to GWR as part of the UK government’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) from next year, and the separately financed 29 trains ordered last year that will come into passenger service in 2018.

The new trains will be built by Hitachi Rail Italy at its Pistoia manufacturing facility.

Mark Hopwood, Managing Director, Great Western Railway said:

“This complements the 86 brand new trains due to start operating across the GWR network next year. They give us greater flexibility in our fleet to deliver faster more frequent services and additional seats for customers, particularly while Network Rail completes the modernisation of the Great Western Main Line.”

Mary Kenny, Chief Executive Officer of Eversholt Rail Group added:

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with FirstGroup, GWR and Hitachi to deliver more new high-quality trains that will enhance the passengers’ journey experience.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said of the deal announcement;

“Hitachi is pleased GWR and Eversholt Rail Group have exercised one of the options they have with us to increase their fleet. This further strengthens our working relationship with two major customers. It is a further endorsement of our current work delivering modern, high-speed modern trains, connecting people and communities across the GWR network.

“The iconic image of this brand new, high-speed fleet operating on a railway rich in heritage will be another landmark moment for Hitachi and one we are delighted to make a reality.”

Maurizio Manfellotto, CEO of Hitachi Rail Italy, highlighted:

“This extended train order highlights the success of Hitachi Rail as a group, which includes increasing demand for our facilities in Italy. Hitachi Rail Italy is particularly proud of this further proof of trust in our capabilities, and we are working hard to deliver a train fleet that meets the expectations of Great Western Railway and its own customers”.

“These new trains will be high-speed Intercity, equipped with hybrid traction, and will have on board the best technologies to meet passenger comfort and safety”

​TransPennine Express and Angel Trains orders 95 Inter City rail carriages from UK manufacturer Hitachi

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Thursday 31st March- The new TransPennine Express (TPE) franchise, operated by FirstGroup, is a step closer to delivering improvements in capacity, reliability and comfort having been given the go-ahead by government to complete a new rolling stock contract with Hitachi Rail Europe to supply 95 brand new, state of the art train carriages.

The contract, for the fleet of AT300 ‘Inter City’ trains is the first to be finalised by TransPennine Express, which will operate the franchise from April. The deal, which has been financed by Angel Trains, will lead to the procurement of 19 five-car Hitachi AT300 bi-mode trains, capable of operating on both electric power and diesel power.

The AT300 trains have been designed with the customer in mind and will completely remodel the experience of train travel in the North. They will be amongst the most advanced Inter City trains in the UK, running at speeds of 125 miles per hour. The modern interior and spacious seating will offer significant improvements in comfort, while free, fast and unlimited Wi-Fi will provide extra entertainment options on every train and allow customers to stream movies and TV on mobile devices. On board catering facilities will allow for hot and cold food options.

Each of the new trains will provide an extra 161 seats compared to the average class 185 train and will offer excellent reliability and efficiency as well as advanced customer information systems.

Hitachi Rail Europe was successful in securing the contract following a comprehensive procurement process. The majority of the carriages will be assembled at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The new trains will be introduced to the network from December 2019.

Hitachi will also provide full service provision, including all maintenance, cleaning and stabling, at its Doncaster Carr and Craigentinny (Edinburgh) maintenance centres, while overnight stabling and servicing will be undertaken at the Edge Hill, Heaton and York depots.

TransPennine Express Managing Director designate Leo Goodwin said:

“The signing of this contract is the first major step for the new franchise. These brand new state of the art Hitachi trains will lead to significant improvements in seating, capacity and provide a more reliable and efficient service. These trains will be able to run at speeds of 125 miles per hour but they also have the capability of running at 140 miles per hour if the network allows for it in the future. These speeds will reduce journey times across our network, bringing our great towns and cities in the North closer together. The overall comfort and experience will also be enhanced with more entertainment options, free Wi-Fi, better catering and real-time information systems. Hitachi is a reliable train manufacturer with a great reputation. We are very pleased to be working with the Hitachi to build these intercity trains which will help to better connect the North and Scotland.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe said of the deal announcement;

“Hitachi is thrilled to be delivering a fleet of new Inter City trains for TransPennine Express, connecting cities and people with greater speed, comfort and capacity across the Northern Powerhouse region. Last September, Hitachi brought rail manufacturing back to its birthplace in the North East of England and so it is entirely fitting that our facility at Newton Aycliffe is where these new AT300 trains will be built.

“Building on our contracts to deliver new IEP trains for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines, commuter trains for Scotland, Inter City trains from London to Devon and Cornwall, as well as our existing HS1 ‘Javelin’ services operating from London and Kent, Hitachi is on track to transform rail travel for millions of fare-paying customers throughout the UK.”

The new TPE franchise will deliver a total of 44 new state of the art trains. A deal for the procurement of the remaining 25 new trains is expected to be finalised soon. The first of these trains will be delivered in Spring 2018.

TransPennine Express will lease the carriages from Angel Trains which financed and will own the new trains.

Malcolm Brown, Chief Executive Officer for Angel Trains, said:

“We are delighted to be procuring, financing and leasing these new bi-mode trains that will transform intercity travel in the North. Passengers will be able to travel seamlessly across the TransPennine network, regardless of whether the route is electrified or unelectrified, on reliable and comfortable new trains offering modern amenities, including Wi-Fi. We are committed to providing value and meeting passengers’ needs both now and in the future, and this new fleet is further demonstration of that commitment.

We have already invested over £3.8 billion in the UK rail industry and, working with our partners in the industry, we look forward to continuing to make further significant investments in rolling stock in future.”

The fleet of AT300 trains for the North will be closely related to the Class 800 bi-mode trains designed for the Department for Transport’s InterCity Express Programme (IEP), but will utilise higher engine operating power to cope with the gradients in the region. They will run as electric trains on the electrified network, and are equipped with bigger fuel tanks and brake resistors to cope with the challenging terrain.

TPE will also retain around half of its current Class 185 trains with them all undergoing a £20million+ refurbishment programme. The refurbishment will include improvements throughout first and standard class, improved catering, the installation of modern customer information systems, free Wi-Fi and entertainment servers.

Transport Minister Andrew Jones said of the contract award;

“This investment by FirstGroup will deliver more capacity and modern, high quality trains for passengers on the TransPennine Express Franchise.

“This will also help support jobs and the economy of the North, as the majority of the vehicles will be assembled at the facility in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. It is deals like this, supporting this Government’s record investment in transport in the North, that are helping to build a Northern Powerhouse.”

Cllr Liam Robinson, Chair of Rail North, which will co-manage the delivery of the TPE franchise under the terms of a ground-breaking devolution agreement, said;

“This brand new inter-city rolling stock is a major step to transforming services across these routes, linking together the major economic centres of the North. It’s great to see that passengers will benefit from more seats and more modern trains on longer journeys”

  • The carriages will become 19 five car bi-mode AT300 trains.
  • AT300 Inter City trains will be capable of operating on both electric power and diesel power, providing TPE with resilience and flexibility.
  • These trains will be able to run seamlessly across electrified and unelectrified routes.
  • In times of disruption on electrified routes, these trains can switch to its diesel engines or be diverted around the disruption on non-electrified routes.
  • The initial trains will be built at Hitachi’s Kasado Works in Japan, with the majority to be assembled at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham

Other features of the Hitachi Bi-mode trains:

  • capable of running at 125 miles per hour
  • modern interior with spacious seating and improved comfort
  • five carriages in length
  • Wi-Fi and entertainment servers to allow customers to stream movies and TV shows on mobile devices
  • better reliability and efficiency
  • advanced customer information systems
  • air conditioning
  • power sockets at every seat
  • extra space for luggage