New Avanti West Coast trains are beginning to take shape at Hitachi’s North East factory following an investment in welding facilities.
The new trains will serve passengers on the West Coast Mainline from London to Scotland, Birmingham and North Wales.
New welding and painting facilities will be used to build the new trains for Avanti West Coast and additionally those for East Midlands Railway.
Around 40 staff will complete the aluminium carriage shells, with the new fleet of trains compromising of 10 Class 807s and 13 Class 805s (which will replace the Voyagers).
Hitachi has invested £8.5m in new welding and painting facilities and is the first time in decades that a new train welding facility has been made in Britain.
Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “It is fitting that Hitachi Rail are building the next generation of intercity trains in County Durham, a place with a proud and illustrious railway heritage.
“Their long-term commitment and continued investment in the North East is a major boost for jobs and skills, driving economic growth and helping levelling up our country as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Phil Whittingham, Managing Director at Avanti West Coast said: “We’re proud to be partnering with Hitachi Rail, and it’s UK supply chain, to build a fleet of new trains that will transform the travelling experience for our customers on the West Coast Main Line. The investment is a key part of our exciting plans to raise the bar for the UK rail industry, and will deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions.”
Jim Brewin, Head of UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail said: “The £110 million we have now invested at Newton Aycliffe is not only a sign of our continued commitment to the North East of England but also British manufacturing and its supply chain.
At the heart of our commitment is the continued development of a highly skilled and dynamic workforce and 70 apprenticeships will drive the rail industry forward at home and abroad for many years to come.”
The latest railway news
Signup to our daily and weekly newsletters
Railway Prints, DVD’s / Blu-Ray’s, books and more
Come and share your railway pictures
UK STEAM INFO
Upcoming mainline steam tours/loco movements
Avanti West Coast
Visit their website