The Department for Transport has announced the next phase of its £5.8 billion Intercity Express Programme, confirming an order with Hitachi for 30 new electric trains for the East Coast Main Line.
The contract covers 270 new carriages and is worth £1.2 billion.
Last year, former Transport Secretary Justine Greening placed an order for 92 Super Express trains to replace the Great Western Main Line’s fleet of Intercity 125s.
This latest order will see see Hitachi’s Class 800 trains also replace the Intercity 225s currently serving the route.
The first of the Javelin-inspired trains is expected to enter service on the Great Western Main Line in 2017 and the East Coast Main Line in 2018.
Much of the manufacturing process will take place at a new site in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Hitachi has said that it believes the deal “will reinforce UK train manufacturing capability once again making it globally competitive and raising the prospect of the UK being able to compete for export orders in European markets”.
[pullquote align=”right”]By signing this deal we have provided further proof of our determination to transform Britain’s railways into a world-class operation through continued investment and state-of-the-art technology[/pullquote]
Executive chairman and chief executive of Hitachi Rail Europe Alistair Dormer said: “This follow-on order by the Department for Transport marks the successful conclusion of the Intercity Express Programme procurement process. It represents a welcome boost for Hitachi Rail Europe’s train factory in County Durham with its 730 future employees and for the British supply chain.
“When we designed the new trains, we knew passengers and industry were very satisfied with our Class 395 Javelin train which we used as a blueprint and put a lot of thought into how we could step up to challenge of making the Class 800 trains as comfortable as possible for the long-distance passengers travelling on them.”
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “By signing this deal we have provided further proof of our determination to transform Britain’s railways into a world-class operation through continued investment and state-of-the-art technology.
“This new order for class 800 series trains is part of the government’s commitment to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This will not only deliver significant benefits to passengers by further slashing journey times and bolstering capacity, but will also stimulate economic growth through improved connectivity between some of Britain’s biggest cities.”