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2004-10-27 DfT-001
Department for Transport


Hitachi named as preferred manufacturer to build high speed trains

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Department for Transport

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Department for Transport

Hitachi named as preferred manufacturer to build high speed trains

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2004-06-11 FirstGroup plc Announced as Preferred Bidder for New Scottish Passenger Rail Franchise (Strategic Rail Authority)


27 Oct 2004 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling today announced Hitachi as the preferred manufacturer to build new high speed trains to operate on the Kent franchise.

The new trains will be technologically advanced to operate on both domestic railway tracks and the new high speed channel tunnel rail link track where they will reach speeds of 140 mph.

The service will provide high speed train services from Kent to St Pancras and will support new housing and economic opportunities in the Thames Gateway Growth Area. The new trains will also play a crucial role in the 'javelin shuttle' in London's Olympic transport bid which will move spectators from central London to the Olympic Park in Stratford in under 8 minutes.

The order is expected to be for about thirty (6-carriage) trains introduced in 2009. The Invitation to tender for the new Integrated Kent Franchise will be issued later in the Autumn at which point the full service pattern will become known.

Alastair Darling speaking as he visited the new terminal being constructed at St Pancras said:

"We're today confirming the new high speed domestic service which will make use of the new channel tunnel rail link. The UK gets maximum benefit from the high speed track which is already delivering faster services to Europe.

"This service will also be the flagship transport scheme to deliver people to and from the Olympic Games should the UK bid be successful. It will move people from Kings Cross to Stratford in under eight minutes.

"The technology on these trains is cutting edge which could help reduce journey times between Ashford and central London by 40 minutes each way. "

David Quarmby, Chairman of SRA, said:

"Today's confirmation brings a new rolling stock supplier to the UK market, and passengers can expect a high level of reliability, comfort and speed from these trains. The process for awarding the new Integrated Kent Franchise to operate train services from next year will continue, with bidding documents to be issued later this Autumn. "

Notes to Editors

1. The SRA and its preferred financier, HSBC Rail (UK) Ltd, will now enter into detailed discussions with Hitachi with a view to reaching contract close as soon as possible.

2. The number of high speed trains to run on the service will be finalised once contract details between the SRA, its preferred financier HSBC rail (UK) Ltd and Hitachi are finalised.

3. The SRA's consultation on service patterns and frequencies for the new Integrated Kent Franchise (IKF), to include the new high-speed services on the CTRL, ended on 23 April 2004. The consultation document can be found on the SRA website under

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Railhub Archive ::: 2004-10-27 DfT-001


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