Computer-generated images showing the inside of the high-speed trains which will be built in County Durham have been released.
Award–winning DCA Design International has won the contract from Hitachi Rail Europe to design the interiors of its new Super Express Trains – a key part of the government’s £5.8bn Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
Hitachi will be supplying more than 800 carriages for the Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line to replace their 40-year-old high-speed fleets.
As part of the design project, Warwick-based DCA, which last year was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its achievements in international trade, will construct a full size mock-up of all the passenger interiors as well as an interior and exterior mock up of the driver’s cab at its extensive workshop facilities in Warwick.
DCA will then use the mock-up for ergonomic validation of the design against the relevant accessibility standards.
Director Rob Bassil said: “These new trains will offer passengers a step change in reliability, capacity and comfort, and Hitachi has challenged us to deliver an iconic interior design to underline these benefits.
“We are very excited by the prospect and have put the right staff, resources and processes in place to support Hitachi in doing exactly that.”
Hitachi’s new 125 mph trains will have between five and nine carriages and will be either fully electric or bi-mode (which will incorporate diesel and electric traction options), enabling passengers to travel on electrified and non-electrified routes, as well as providing them with more modern reliable trains, better interiors and seating arrangements and faster journey times.
Hitachi Rail Europe managing director Keith Jordan said: “When it came to the design of the interior of the Super Express Train, Hitachi was particularly keen to create an environment that would be a pleasure for passengers to travel in.
“We picked DCA because they bring extensive experience with design projects, not only in the rail industry but also in other industry sectors. The team at DCA brings a modern, creative approach to the rail vehicles that will add to the great journey experience the Super Express Trains will offer to customers.“
Since its design of the groundbreaking London Underground Central Line trains, DCA has been involved in rail design projects ranging from the interior and exterior design of Le Shuttle, which carries vehicles through the tunnel between England and France, to the latest interior re-design, cab exterior restyling and exterior livery for the Northern Ireland Railways C4K series EMUs, and the interior of the Virgin Cross Country, which was particular relevant to DCA winning the IEP project.