By Martin Walker
We can now bring you the first real picture of the first trains that will be built at Hitachi Rail Europe’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
Hitachi today unveiled the first image, and detailed specifications, of the trains which are being manufactured for the UK Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
Twelve “prototype” trains are being built in Japan and are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, before being shipped to the UK for test operations in the first half of 2015.
The remaining 110 trains for the IEP are scheduled to be manufactured at Hitachi’s £82m factory on Aycliffe Business Park.
This project is being undertaken based on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) scheme led by the British Department for Transport.
The Class 800 series trains now scheduled for delivery will be equipped with underfloor diesel engine generator to run not only electrified routes but also non-electrified routes.
The diesel engine generator can be removed, facilitating a smooth transition to electric operations as the electrification programme expands.
Passenger rail transport service using the Class 800 series trains is scheduled to start from 2017 on the Great Western Main Line (GWML) and from 2018 on the East Coast Main Line (ECML).
Aside from high-speed railways, in October 2014, Hitachi secured preferential negotiating rights from the railway operating company Abellio (head office: the Netherlands) for delivery of 234 AT-200 cars (70 trains) for standard suburban operations, and for a long-term maintenance contract.
The two companies are currently in the final stages of contract negotiations.
Hitachi says it will continue to undertake proactive sales activities targeting railway plans in countries around the world, as part of its efforts to accelerate the global rollout of its railway systems.
■Class 800 Series specifications
|Number of cars per train||5-12 cars|
|Power supply type||AC25kV|
|Maximum operating speed||201km/h (Max. design speed: 225km/h)|
|Car width||Approx. 2.7m|
|Passenger capacity||5 car trains: 315 seats; 9 car trains: 627 seats|
|Interior facilities||– Comfort air conditioning
-Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms and space in cars to accommodate wheelchairs
– Closed-circuit TV
– Passenger information system
– Wi-Fi for passengers
– Seat reservation display
– Bicycle storage space (with security locks)
– Full kitchen and catering service