Government Approves Contract County Durham Factory Supply Intercity Trains

After Justine Greening, the transport secretary, approved a £4.5 billion contract to supply Britain with the next generation of intercity trains, more than 900 jobs will be created and thousands more will be secured.

A brand new train factory in the north east of England will produce 596 railway carriages.

Agility Trains, a consortium comprised of Hitachi and John Laing, has been awarded the contract to build and maintain the trains under the Intercity Express Programme (IEP), a project to replace Britain’s Intercity 125 trains with newer, higher-capacity trains.

Hitachi will assemble an intercity fleet of 92 complete trains at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, creating 730 skilled jobs, 200 more during the factory’s construction, and thousands more in the UK supply chain. The company will also locate its European rail research and development capabilities on the site, enhancing the factory’s ability to win rail contracts throughout Europe.

In addition to the new state-of-the-art assembly facility, Hitachi will build maintenance depots in Bristol, Swansea, west London, and Doncaster, as well as upgrade existing maintenance depots throughout the United Kingdom.

The announcement comes on the eve of the Global Investment Conference in London, where the Government will kick off the largest series of trade and investment events ever held in the UK, involving over 3,000 business leaders, policymakers, and ministers from around the world, as well as half of the FTSE 100 companies.

“A new train factory is fantastic news for Britain and will be welcomed by everyone who wants to see a thriving UK manufacturing sector,” said Justine Greening. It means 730 new skilled jobs will be created at the factory, 200 jobs will be created during the plant’s construction, and thousands of jobs will be secured throughout the supply chain.

“The decision to build nearly 600 new intercity train carriages is fantastic news for rail passengers who will enjoy faster and more comfortable journeys across the UK on the East Coast and Great Western main lines.”

“Hitachi is the latest major international company to make such a large investment in the United Kingdom, and I look forward to this new factory in County Durham following in the footsteps of Nissan’s successful car plant in Sunderland.” There are few stronger indications that the UK is the best place to invest and develop new markets than Hitachi’s decision to base its European manufacturing base right here in the UK.”

The IEP train fleet will be made up of electric and bi-mode trains, some of which will be five vehicles long and others of which will be nine vehicles long. These will accelerate faster than existing stock and have the potential for more frequent service. More seats and less crowding between Britain’s major cities will result from increased train capacity. Through increased carry-on luggage space, electronic seat reservations, and no compromise on legroom, modern vehicles will provide a significant improvement in passenger comfort. A performance regime will encourage trains to run reliably for the duration of the fleet’s life.

Construction on the Newton Aycliffe site is expected to begin in 2013 and be completed by 2015. The first IEP trains will begin earning revenue on the Great Western Main Line in 2017 and the East Coast Main Line in 2018.

Last Updated on December 30, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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