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2017-10-16 HIT-001
Hitachi Rail Europe


British-built Hitachi trains enter service on Great Western route today

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Intercity Express

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Hitachi Rail Europe

British-built Hitachi trains enter service on Great Western route today

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17 October 2017
source Hitachi Rail Europe
type Press release

A Hitachi Rail Europe spokesman said:

“Great Western Railway’s brand new Intercity Express Train carried passengers for the first time today, marking the start of the biggest fleet upgrade on the Great Western route in almost 40 years.

“Having already completed 5,000 miles of fault-free running, the first British-built Hitachi train from Paddington to Bristol departed on time at 07.00. It arrived at its destination smoothly and promptly, offering passengers more seats, space and fast wifi. More new trains will follow until the full fleet of 57 are in service next year.”

“The Bristol to London service experienced a few technical challenges, for which we apologise to passengers for any inconvenience caused. We are of course disappointed with an issue with this train’s air conditioning and water ingress in one of the carriages. We are investigating this as a matter of priority and will restore the train back into passenger service once fully rectified.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director, Hitachi Rail Europe, who was on-board the first service, said:

“We, at Hitachi Rail, are really proud to have built trains in the UK, designed using Japanese bullet train technology, that are improving passengers’ journeys on the Great Western route.

“Nine years of hard work has gone into making this vital fleet upgrade happen, including creating a brand new factory, workforce, and establishing modern maintenance facilities from Swansea to London. We’ve delivered pioneering 21st century trains for passengers to enjoy and sparked a manufacturing renaissance in the North East.”

A comment from our Managing Director is below. Images and b-roll footage of the trains being built at our factory available to download at the link below:


If you need any further information please contact Adam Love (07860 273 317) or Sam Fisk (07713 697 727).

Hitachi trains background briefing

Train orders
o Hitachi is building 57 Intercity Express trains (IET) for Great Western Railways at their UK train factory. The first seven trains were supplied today, with a phased introduction of the rest until the end of 2018.
o Hitachi also has orders for the same trains from Virgin Trains East Coast (65 starting end of 2018), Transpennine Express (19 starting 2019) and Hull Trains (5 starting 2019)

Bringing Train building back to the North East
o The new trains that entered service today were all built at Hitachi’s £82m factory in Newton Aycliffe, near Darlington in County Durham.
o Newton Aycliffe employs over 1,000 people and is purpose-built train manufacturing facility that opened in September 2015
o The factory is in the area where Britain’s first steam trains were built
New depots built to maintain new fleet
o Hitachi will now maintain the new trains for GWR for 27.5 years as part of the Intercity Express Programme contract.
o To do this we’ve invested £160m in building modern maintenance facilities along the length of the Great Western railway, at sites including Swansea, Bristol and West London which will employ 500 people.

Introducing the Intercity Express trains

o Built on bullet train technology - The Intercity trains are made with aluminum to make them light and with fast acceleration, with a design based on pioneering Japanese engineering used to build world famous bullet trains.
o More seats, longer trains – Capacity on trains is increased by up to 24% by having more seats and being able to run more frequent services. New Intercity trains have up to 652 seats for every full length train (95 more than HST trains), made possible by longer 26m carriages, and compared to 23m for the HST trains that are being replaced.
o Flexibility - The hybrid train has the ability to run on both electric and diesel power meaning that it always has a backup power and can keep passengers moving
o Full wifi and mobile network connectivity – on-board servers that can exchange data using 3G and high speed WiFi connections
Interesting numbers
o On a 10 car train set there is over 34,000 km of cable
o End to end this would go ¾ around the earth circumference!
o The train factory took just under two years to build
o It is more than 43,000 sqm, so you could fit seven football pitches in it!

Railhub Archive ::: 2017-10-16 HIT-001


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