First shells for Avanti West Coast Class 805s arrive in UK

Avanti West Coast Class 805 bodyshells arrive in the UK
Credit: Avanti West Coast

The first shells for Avanti West Coast‘s new trains have arrived in the UK, marking the start of Avanti West Coast’s improvements for passengers.

The more spacious trains, made by Hitachi Rail, are due to enter service in 2022 and will replace the Super Voyagers serving the West Midlands, North Wales and Liverpool.

The shells landed at Southampton Docks from Hitachi Rail’s Kasado factory in Japan ahead of building work at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe plant this year.

When complete, the fleet of trains will include 13 Class 805 bi-mode trains and 10 Class 807 electric trains. The bi-mode trains will have five carriages, and the electric trains will have seven.

Avanti West Coast Class 805 bodyshells arrive in the UK
Credit: Avanti West Coast

Whilst initial body shells of the bi-mode fleet will be sent from Japan, the Avanti West Coast order marks a significant change in Hitachi’s train building process.

The 56 body shells will be welded together in the North East, where an £8.5m investment will allow the full build of trains to take place in the UK.

The final assembly, where all components and electrics are fitted, of the entire fleet will take place at Newton Aycliffe.

Avanti West Coast Class 805 bodyshells arrive in the UK
Credit: Avanti West Coast

“Our new trains are really going to make a difference and it’s very exciting,” explained Liam Hockings, Senior Project Manager, New Trains for Avanti West Coast. “Together with our partners Hitachi Rail and Rock Rail West Coast, we will be looking to raise the bar for our customers on the West Coast Main Line route.”

Rock Rail West Coast, a joint venture between Rock Rail and Aberdeen Standard Investment, is financing the new trains and will be leasing them to Avanti West Coast.

The first nine vehicles include a full set from 805001 and four shells from 805002.

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  1. Hitachi will be working very hard on mass production of their AT300 rolling stocks. And to continue with the mass production of the AT200 “Commuter” and AT100 “Metro” fleets. And new HS2 trains to be manufactured at Newton Aycliffe.

    • Maybe Hitachi could manufacture the AT100 “Metro” Class 7xx Dual Voltage/DC units for Southern to replace the Class 313 used on the East Coastway Line and West Coastway Line routes (including Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Eastbourne and Hastings).

      And to replace the Class 455 used on South London suburban routes to/from London Victoria/London Bridge (including Caterham, Tattenham Corner, Epsom Downs, Sutton, West Croydon, Reigate, East Grinstead, Redhill and London Bridge-London Victoria via Peckham Rye/Denmark Hill).

  2. The AWC Class 807 and EMR Class 810 will soon follow. As Hitachi are now back to mass production of their AT300 “IET” Intercity Express Trains following the Coronavirus pandemic. And are also continuing on mass production of the East Coast Trains Class 803 AT300s which are to enter service from next year.


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