Manufacturing of five East Coast Trains Class 803s began this week, showcasing the start of a new phase of train building at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
The construction of the intercity trains has a more intensive manufacturing process than the previous fleets of trains. The increased range of jobs to be done will see a skilled workforce create new trains from empty aluminium shells.
Despite the coronavirus crisis, Hitachi Rail has continued working in a safe manner to prepare the factory and is now ready to start building the new 803s for East Coast Trains.
The five fully electric trains, classified as the Class 803s, will begin carrying passengers between Edinburgh and London from Autumn 2021.
Ross Nagle, COO Rolling Stock UK at Hitachi Rail: “Building these East Coast Trains signifies a new and exciting chapter for Hitachi Rail’s UK factory. It is an important step as we increase our manufacturing capabilities and upskill our workforce at Newton Aycliffe, which includes an £8.5m investment in new welding and painting facilities.
“The increased skills of our workforce makes us well placed to deliver a number of highly significant orders over the next 12 months, and consolidate our place as a strategic North East manufacturing hub.”
Helen Wylde, Managing Director at East Coast Trains: “Its great to see our new 100% electric trains being assembled by the skilled team at Newton Aycliffe. We are delighted that these trains will be at the cutting-edge of low-emission rail transport, underlining the benefits of using our rail service for travel between the two capital cities.”
Ross Shepherd, Chief Technical Officer, Beacon Rail Leasing Limited: “We are delighted to see the start of the manufacture of our all-electric Class 803 fleet in the UK. It is a sign of the strong teamwork and commitment to safety across the project that this has been achieved in these extraordinary times. The Class 803 demonstrates Beacon’s commitment to delivering environmentally friendly rail travel across Europe”.
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