Full steam ahead for Hitachi

Full steam ahead for Hitachi

Hitachi’s £82m Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe has received another major boost after landing a lucrative deal with TransPennine Express.

The deal sees TransPennine Express and Angel Trains order 95 Inter-City rail carriages from the manufacturer which has brought rail manufacturing home to the North East.

The contract is the first to be finalised by TransPennine Express, which will operate the Inter-City franchise as of April.

The majority of the carriages will be assembled at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe plant with the new trains being introduced in 2019, supporting hundreds of jobs.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said: “This will help support jobs and the economy of the north, as the majority of the vehicles will be assembled at the facility in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.

“It is deals like this, supporting this government’s record investment in transport in the north, that are helping to build a Northern Powerhouse.”

Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, added: "Hitachi is thrilled to be delivering a fleet of new Inter City trains for TransPennine Express, connecting cities and people with greater speed, comfort and capacity across the Northern Powerhouse region.

“Last September, Hitachi brought rail manufacturing back to its birthplace in the North East of England and so it is entirely fitting that our facility at Newton Aycliffe is where these new AT300 trains will be built.

“Building on our contracts to deliver new IEP trains for the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines, commuter trains for Scotland, Inter City trains from London to Devon and Cornwall, as well as our existing HS1 ‘Javelin’ services operating from London and Kent, Hitachi is on track to transform rail travel for millions of fare-paying customers throughout the UK.”

Simon Goon, Business Durham managing director, said: "This prestigious new order is further confirmation of the world-class manufacturing capability of Hitachi Rail Europe's facility in Newton Aycliffe.

"It is superb news for the business and its workforce. The contract will see their skills deliver state-of-the-art carriages for this important rail network linking many of the great cities of the Northern Powerhouse.

"This latest contract win for Hitachi Rail Europe will support jobs at Newton Aycliffe, boost regional economic growth and help to transform rail travel for passengers on this economically vital transport link."

The initial trains will be built at Hitachi’s Kasado Works in Japan, with the majority to be assembled at Hitachi’s Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe.