Hitachi unveils first UK built Intercity Express Train
The first Hitachi Intercity Express (IEP) train to be built in the UK has rolled off the productionline at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The event is a major milestone in preparation for the introduction of the EIP, the £5.7bn Government-funded programme to modernise UK intercity travel. By the end of the programme Hitachi will have supplied 122 modern intercity trains for passengers travelling on the Great Western and East Cost main lines. Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling, Minister for Northern Powerhouse Andrew Percy, and Ambassador of Japan in the UK, Koji Tsuruoka were at the plant to celebrate the occasion.
The new state-of-the-art £82m facility at Newton Aycliffe was opened in September 2015 as part of Hitachi’s strategy to develop a hub of industry and innovation in the North East. The plant will employ approximately 900 people by Spring 2017.
Managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, Karen Boswell said: “Today is a celebration of the return of train manufacturing to the North East, supporting thousands of jobs and developing a strong engineering skills base in the region. [It] comes at an exciting time for UK rail, and we welcome the Government’s recent commitment to further investment in rail infrastructure and the digitisation of Britain’s railways.”
Upgrade and enlargement of the Hornsey Depot in north London is now complete
Modernisation and enlargement of the Siemens traincare centre at Hornsey in north London has now been completed in preparation for the arrival of three new fleets of trains for Great Northern and Thameslink services.
The Hornsey depot has been upgraded with a new five-road, 12-car maintenance building for the new Thameslink fleet, as well as large new sidings for train stabling and improved servicing, making it one of the biggest depots in the UK.
The new facility will house and maintain the Thameslink fleet of Class 700 trains for services from Peterborough and Cambridge across London to the south. The trains start arriving in 2017 and will initially go into service on the Great Northern and then begin running as Thameslink in 2018.
Class 387 trains for Great Northern services between London King’s Cross and Peterborough, and Cambridge to King’s Lynn, which are entering service now will also be maintained at Hornsey, as will as the new Class 717 trains destined for suburban services from Welwyn Garden City, Hertford and Stevenage to and from Moorgate in the City of London. The Class 717s will begin arriving late in 2018.
Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan fleet completed
The final air-conditioned, walk-through S-Stock train has been delivered to London Underground’s Ruislip depot. This completes the fleet of 192 new Bombardier-built trains which will replace the older D-Stock trains on the Circle, District, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines. The old fleet will be fully phased out by Spring 2017.
Work is currently underway to overhaul the ageing signalling and control systems across the four lines, installing systems similar to those now in operation on the Jubilee and Northern lines. In preparation for this, the new trains are being sent in phases to the BT Factory in Derby, where they are being fitted with a communications-based train control system before being returned into passenger service
These upgrades are set for completion in 2023, when the frequency of trains running through central London during peak periods will rise to 32 trains per hour.
Mark Wild, London Underground managing director, said: “The delivery of the final 192nd S-Stock train is a landmark moment in the history of London Underground