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.”

11 COMMENTS

  1. Another brilliant Dft Cock Up – ordering more trains that no one wants. The Rosco is left with a youngish fleet of trains they were going to spend millions on refurbing. What a waste on money!

  2. Brilliant, trains no one really wants at a price no one should have to pay… ….what was wrong with a refurb of the Mk IV 225 trailers and new build locos to power them? The best we can hope is that the 225 fleet finds a new home on cross-country services, powered by suitable locos and replacing the woefully inadequate Voyager fleet as far as possible.

  3. A superb financial disaster that is not wanted by so many yet so few blindly stumble on with this financial con trick. No rail industry wide thinking at all and again we are persuaded by the sop that the trains will be manufactured in the UK at Aycliffe. Utter rubbish and that factory will simply assemble rather than manufacture. I agree Chris, refurb the Mark IV sets heavily and use the benefits in electric locos over the last 25 years by getting maybe a UK gauge TRAXX or similar. Make a clause in the contract to assemble in the UK and also the FOC’s will be interested and might well buy in to a freight variant of the loco. In time much will be overtaken by HS2 on ECML so why but IEP! What a fiasco and let the market decide what is wanted and not get sewn up by the D(a)fT.

  4. I bet nobody at the Dft has yet given much thought to the future of the displaced IC225s? Will they be cascaded to East Anglia to replace the ageing Class 90s and Mk 111s or might they eventually be found on a fully electrified MML to Sheffield? Answers will be awaited with baited breath.

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