By Martin Walker
Hitachi Rail Europe has handed a Cambridge engineering company a large contract to produce key elements of the trains which will be built in Newton Aycliffe.
Hitachi has selected Lordgate Engineering to supply the luggage racks and luggage stacks on the new Great Western Main Line (GWML) trains it is building for the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
The confirmation comes as Jamie Foster from Hitachi and Paul Bright from Lordgate put pen to paper on the contract at a signing ceremony at Hitachi Rail Europe’s head offices in Holborn Viaduct, London (pictured above).
The contract will see Lordgate design and produce 8,600 luggage racks and 1,100 luggage stacks for the 21 nine-car electric Class 801s and the 36 five-car bi-mode Class 800s on the Great Western routes, set to become operational from 2017.
Contracts for similar provisions on the East Coast Main Line trains (ECML) will be completed in summer 2014.
The design, development and structural assessment of the luggage racks has already been completed and the manufacturing process is now underway.
Delivery to Japan for use on the first pre-series Class 800 trains is scheduled to take place at the end of April/early May. The luggage stacks are currently at the interface design stage.
Lordgate Engineering Ltd has affirmed that, as a result of the contract, the company has adapted and amended existing processes to increase efficiency and create more compatible systems.
Additional staff have also been recruited at its site in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, as a direct result of the deal.
Hitachi procurement director Jamie Foster said: “Since the early stages of our supplier-selection process, Lordgate demonstrated paramount professionalism, impeccable craftsmanship and full commitment to help Hitachi Rail Europe achieve its business goals and customer commitments with the Department for Transport.
“We trust this is the beginning of a very successful and long-standing relationship. As a British-based supplier, Lordgate is very well positioned to grow together with us in the years to come.”
Lordgate operations director Paul Bright added: “We’re delighted to have signed the contract agreements with Hitachi Rail Europe and we look forward to having the opportunity to establish a long-term supply relationship for many years to come.
“This sends a clear message that UK companies have the capacity to successfully secure business in today’s global market place.”