Phil joined Hitachi Rail Europe and its UK suppliers at the official opening of Hitachi’s new £82 million Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham yesterday to celebrate the return of rail manufacturing to its British birthplace.
Phil Wilson joined Hitachi Rail Europe and its UK suppliers at the official opening of Hitachi’s new £82 million Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham yesterday to celebrate the return of rail manufacturing to its British birthplace.
Phil personally watched the unveiling of the first fully fitted-out InterCity Express Programme (IEP) train to arrive in the UK, with the full order of trains in the programme to be manufactured in the newly opened Newton Aycliffe facility. The first of these trains will run on the Great Western Main Line from 2017 and the East Coast Main Line from 2018, replacing the current 40-year-old trains in service. The facility will also be the manufacturing base for Hitachi’s AT200 trains for the Scotrail Abelio Franchise.
More than 30 UK-based businesses are supplying parts, systems and services for the IEP trains. Of those components and operations that Hitachi could have sourced from the UK for the new trains, 72 per cent have been purchased from UK-based businesses.
Helping to mark this important milestone were the Prime Minister David Cameron MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne MP, Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP, Rail Minister Claire Perry MP, Chairman and CEO of Hitachi Hiroaki Nakanishi, Hitachi Rail CEO Alistair Dormer and Hitachi Rail Europe Managing Director Karen Boswell.
Phil said: “I was delighted to help mark this important occasion for UK manufacturing. The new trains that will come out of this state of the art facility will provide more seats, improved comfort and more reliable journey times for many thousands of rail customers, as well as a real boost to the British suppliers helping to build the trains.
“I know that people in the Sedgefield constituency will be looking forward to experiencing these modern and new trains when they come into passenger service.”
Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe, Karen Boswell, said:
“These Hitachi trains will deliver new comfort and reliability to customers, improving seat capacity, luggage and storage, and will be better than anything already in use in the UK. Our immediate goal is to deliver the Class 800/801 trains for the IEP on time, on budget and to exceed expectations.
“Newton Aycliffe will be the engine room driving Hitachi Rail’s future growth across the UK and into Europe, and I’m incredibly proud to lead a company committed to making the North East a rail manufacturing centre of excellence once again.”