Virgin Trains East Coast has announced a £16 million contract with MTU to refurbish the diesel engines in all 35 of its HST fleet. The refurbishment is a stop-gap measure ahead of the introduction of the Hitachi-built IEP fleet in 2018. Once the overhaul is complete, the engines, which will be painted red to match the Virgin livery, will be fitted at the operator's Craigentinny depot in Edinburgh. Virgin East Coast managing director David Horne said: "This new engine replacement programme will ensure the continued strong performance of Virgin Trains’ High Speed Train fleet until the introduction of new Super Express Trains from 2018. "We are pleased that the work to install the engines, which will also be in Virgin red, will take place in Edinburgh. "We continue to play a key role in the economy of the Capital and Scotland as a whole, where more than 700 of our workforce are based."
The facility will become TMH's only production site in Africa. It will be used to assemble, maintain and refurbish diesel and electric locomotives as well as coaches for South Africa and the rest of the continent.