Hitachi Rail to build intercity trains for Avanti
Posted on 14 Jan 2020 and read 817 times
Italy-based First Trenitalia, the new operator of the Avanti West Coast rail service, has awarded a contract worth more than £350 million to County Durham-based Hitachi Rail (www.hitachirail.com
) to provide and maintain 23 new intercity trains (135 carriages).
Bringing additional capacity to services along the West Coast Main Line and in North Wales, the new trains — 10 seven-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains (able to switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power) — will start operating in 2022.
The electric trains will operate between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, while the bi-mode trains will operate between London and North Wales, switching to diesel power on those parts of the network that are not electrified.
The new trains will be built, serviced and maintained using UK suppliers whenever possible — an approach that has resulted in Hitachi Rail spending more than £1.6 billion with British firms since 2013.
To date, many parts have been sourced from the UK, including wheel-sets from Manchester, windows from Newcastle, door handles from Leeds, and overhead panels from County Durham.
Hitachi Rail Group CEO Andrew Barr said: “Based on Japanese bullet train technology, our new trains have proven to be the modern intercity train of choice, increasing passenger satisfaction wherever they run.
“We are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with First Trenitalia, for whom we have delivered hundreds of trains across Italy and the UK.”