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Hitachi Rail Europe shows its firm support for North East suppliers in building new Class 800/801 trains

Press Release   •   Sep 08, 2014 07:00 BST

Newton Aycliffe, September 8, 2014 – Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd. today announced that it is working with over 30 UK-based suppliers to build trains for the first phase of train delivery for the Government’s Intercity Express Programme.

Of those parts, systems and operations that Hitachi Rail Europe could have sourced from the UK for the new trains, 72% have indeed been purchased from UK-based businesses.

This includes windows from Durham-based Romag, onboard servers from Nomad Digital, located in Newcastle, and passenger counting systems from Gateshead-based Petard.

The confirmation comes as the rolling stock provider published a map highlighting the locations of its various manufacturers across the UK. It shows that the company’s supply chain is drawn from many different regions, including three businesses from the North East, three from Yorkshire and the Humber, and four from the North West.

Figures for the North East are particularly relevant, given that Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, will be the home of Hitachi Rail Europe’s European manufacturing facility, when it is completed in 2015. If this number is combined with the list of suppliers that Shepherd Construction, the lead contractor on the Newton Aycliffe factory build, is procuring in the region, the total number of suppliers increases to 32.

Today’s announcement cements the company’s commitment to supporting UK businesses and developing the rail supply chain. Following the announcement earlier this year that Hitachi Rail would be moving its global HQ to London, this is another sign of its confidence in the growing UK rail sector.

Jamie Foster, Procurement Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “We are delighted to be working with so many suppliers from across the UK in building our new Class 800 series trains for the Intercity Express Programme. Given the high requirements for quality and reliability in our trains, we were keen to work with companies that share our values in this regard. As the first three pre-series trains are now being manufactured in our factory, I cannot emphasise enough the high quality and quantity of services our suppliers have provided on the project thus far. We will continue working closely with each of them across the rest of the manufacturing and delivery schedule.”

Representative from Nomad Digital, said: “Winning the contract for the OBS server is significant for Nomad Digital in the UK. It will enable a close relationship with a key world-class train builder and deliver opportunities within the UK rail industry.”

Phil Murray, Managing Director from Romag, said: “Securing this contract has been a significant boost for Romag, its employees and our supply chain. We needed to secure long-term contracts to secure the future of our business and the IEP contract came at a critical time. It has also provided a springboard from which other contracts may be secured with other train builders as well as Hitachi. We are delighted that Hitachi have shown such confidence in the North East and I'm confident we won't disappoint.”

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