Hitachi has recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of them producing trains at their factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Thursday 3rd September 2015 saw Hitachi Rail officially open the state-of-the-art factory in Newton Aycliffe. David Cameron, who was then the UK’s Prime Minister, opened the factory, and since then, 192 trains have been built and are now in service.
The trains built include the UK’s new intercity train of choice, which have improved services on the Great Western route and the East Coast Mainline. The Class 385 trains have also been built for use with ScotRail, one of the most reliable trains in the UK.
When the Newton Aycliffe factory opened, Hitachi’s UK presence was minimal, but now, 700 staff are based at the factory, with 3,000 Hitachi employees in total around England, Scotland and Wales.
Ross Nagle, COO Rolling Stock UK, said: “On that first day, when the factory was completely devoid of train cars but full of people – including the Prime Minister, Chancellor and the Japanese Ambassador – we had only a handful of employees and no-one that had built a train before. Since then, we have all been on a steep learning curve and have completed 192 trains that are now carrying passengers and being recognised for their incredible quality and reliability.
“From a standing start, this is a fantastic achievement and is thanks to the resilience and flexibility of the entire Rolling Stock team, who have adapted to new challenges – never more so than the last six months.”
Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield, said: “Hitachi Rail has put train building back on the map in the North East. With such a rich railway heritage in the region, including the very first passenger railway, the North East is again becoming synonymous with the best trains in the world. I look forward to seeing Hitachi Rail develop and applaud their efforts to continually increase the local content of their supply chain.”
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