Hitachi to build new Class 800 series trains for UK

The £1.2bn deal is part of capacity improvements on East Coast Main Line.

New Statesman
A Hitachi built Class 395 train. Credit: Getty Images.

Hitachi Rail Europe has secured a contract worth £1.2bn to replace the existing train fleet on the East Coast Main Line with its Class 800 series eco-friendly and low-energy consumption trains.

Under the contract, the company will build an additional 30 nine-car electric trains for the East Coast Main Line at its new plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham with an investment of £82m.

Apart from extra seats, the new trains will feature 50mm of extra leg room in standard class airline style seats, increased Wi-Fi speed, power sockets on every seat, and 10 bike spaces.

The deal, which is part of capacity improvements on East Coast Main Line, is expected to strengthen train manufacturing capability in the UK.

Patrick McLoughlin, the British secretary of state for transport, said: “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. This is good news for rail passengers and for British manufacturing.”

Alistair Dormer, executive chairman and CEO of Hitachi Rail Europe, 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.

“We have already signed contracts with a significant number of suppliers in the UK and Hitachi’s procurement team is in negotiations with many more, providing jobs throughout the UK engineering supply chain.”

“This is fantastic news for passengers travelling between London, Edinburgh and beyond,” Dormer added.

The deal was originally revealed in July last year.

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