Hitachi Rail Europe revealed amongst the bidders for next generation HS2 trains
Global transport specialists, Hitachi Rail Europe, has been shortlisted to deliver Britain’s next generation of state-of-the-art high speed trains, which will ultimately carry tens of thousands of people every day across the UK’s new high speed HS2 network, and beyond.

Announcing the news, HS2 Ltd said: “Operating at speeds of up to 225mph (360kph), the new fleet will deliver unparalleled levels of reliability, speed and comfort as well as providing much-needed extra capacity between the UK’s major cities and giving a boost to high tech skills and expertise in the UK.”

A leader in rail, with over 100 years of experience building pioneering trains and developing innovative new technology, Hitachi Rail Europe successfully delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet of trains ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games and is currently delivering major orders for new trains, with 281 due to be in service by 2021. The first wave of new trains is under construction at the company’s purpose-built factory in County Durham and will enter into passenger service in 2017 as part of the UK Government’s £5.7 billion Intercity Express Programme.

“Hitachi is delighted to have been selected for the next stage of the rolling stock procurement process for HS2,” commented Karen Boswell OBE, Hitachi Rail Europe Managing Director. “We look forward to further developing our proposals for this hugely exciting and important project, which will deliver enormous benefits for the whole of the UK.”

The full shortlist of bidders features: Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo S.L.U and Siemens PLC. Each bidder will be invited to tender for the contracts, which will cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 trains coming into service from 2026. The first trains will begin the roll off the production line in the early 2020s, with the investment expected to create hundreds of jobs.

Partnership renewed
South Western Railway (SWR) has signed contracts worth £50 million with Siemens to refurbish its existing 172 strong Class 444 and Class 450 Desiro fleet of trains, which currently operate across its network.

Part of the company’s £1.2 investment plans, SWR’s enhancement programme will deliver a full interior refurbishment of all trains, including at seat power points for mobile devices, and real time information displays and carpets. First Class customers will also see improvements in the form of new leather seats and new tables incorporating innovative inductive charging. The programme is expected to take around 12 months to complete.

Announcing the news, Neil Drury, SWR’s Engineering Director stated: “We are delighted to have appointed Siemens to carry out the refurbishment of our Class 444 and 450 Desiros. This significant investment in our fleet of trains will see a step change for our customers, and investment in local facilities and suppliers. We have a long relationship with Siemens, who I am confident will deliver a high-quality product.”

In response, Vernon Barker, Managing Director of Rail Systems, Siemens, said: “Siemens is proud to secure this major partnership with South Western. The refurbishment of the rolling stock will go a long way to supporting South Western Railway to deliver on the commitments it set out at the start of the franchise, including improving the passenger experience through renovations which will deliver better trains and more seats for travellers across the region.”

IN BRIEF
Major contribution
Mechan has supplied its flagship jacks to the Acton site in West London, from where the Bakerloo Line Life Extension Project is being delivered. Mechan delivered and installed 16 ten-tonne mobile jacks as part of extensive work being carried out at Acton in preparation for the Bakerloo upgrades. They are being used to remove bogies from 1972 tube stock running on the line and carry out repairs that will extend its operational life.

New look Scottish trains
The ScotRail Alliance has revealed the interiors of its new fleet of Class 385 electric trains, which will be rolled out next year. One of the first fully fitted trains was recently completed at Hitachi Rail Europe’s Newton Aycliffe plant and was shown to offer power sockets at each pair of seats, free WiFi throughout the train, more luggage storage, an accessible toilet in every train and two wheelchair spaces.

Knorr-Bremse Rail UK buoyed
The braking performance of Knorr- Bremse Rail UK’s newest systems, developed for the new Hitachi Class 800 trainsets have exceeded all expectations, having entered passenger service with Great Western Railway. The new trains, built by Hitachi Rail Europe, are designed for intercity service at speeds of up to 200 km/h. The new trains form the core of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) and are replacing the current Intercity 125 fleet on the Great Western Main Line.

The ‘trains of the future’
The management teams of LNVG, Alstom and Linde have come together to sign contracts for the delivery of 14 fuel cell trains, and their 30-year programme of maintenance and energy supply in Wolfsburg, Germany. The trains will be driven with hydrogen, will run emissionfree and will start their first passenger service in Lower Saxony. The fuel cell trains are scheduled to convey travellers between Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervörde and Buxtehude from December 2021.