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Hitachi Rail starts work on East Coast trains order
Manufacturing of five 100% electric East Coast trains has begun, signalling the start of a new phase of train building at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
The construction of the new intercity trains for East Coast Trains Ltd, the open access operator, incorporates a more extensive manufacturing programme than previous fleets. The increased scope will see the highly-skilled workforce create a new state-of-the-art fleet from empty aluminium shells.
Despite the impact of Covid-19, Hitachi Rail has continued to work diligently and safely in preparing the factory and is now ready to begin work on the order.
The five electric East Coast trains – known as Class 803s – will begin carrying passengers between Edinburgh and London from autumn 2021, offering passengers a high quality, cost effective and more sustainable alternative to flying between two of the UK’s capital cities.
The trains will also run on the first service of the day from London to Edinburgh and will travel entirely in electric mode, resulting in zero-emission intercity travel.
Hitachi Rail is due to build more intercity train orders this year, which will benefit from its £8.5m investment in welding and painting at the factory.
Ross Nagle, chief operating officer for rolling stock UK at Hitachi Rail, said: “Building these East Coast trains signifies a new and exciting chapter for Hitachi Rail’s UK factory.
“It is an important step as we increase our manufacturing capabilities and upskill our workforce at Newton Aycliffe, including investing £8.5m in new welding and painting facilities.
“The increased skills of our workforce makes us well placed to deliver a number of highly significant orders over the next 12 months, and consolidate our place as a strategic North East manufacturing hub.”