London, 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 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 driver safety devices from Worcester-based Arrowvale Electronics and interior design services from DCA Design International, located in Warwick.
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 two businesses from the West Midlands, four businesses from the North West, and six from the East Midlands.
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.”
Rob Bassil, Technical Director, DCA Design International, said: ““Our involvement in the Class 800 project began in September 2012, when we began work on the design of the driver’s cab and passenger interiors. From the outset, it was great to see the level of trust that Hitachi’s UK based management team placed in our designers and engineers. This allowed us to pro-actively support them in carrying a large and diverse stakeholder group with us through the whole interior design programme, arriving at a design solution which everyone is really happy with, without having to resort to lowest common denominator compromises.
“More recently we have been heavily involved in production support activities, working closely with Hitachi’s engineering team in Kasado, Japan. This close co-operation has helped Hitachi to create a very high-quality manufactured solution which remains as faithful as possible to the agreed design intent.
“It has been incredibly rewarding to work with Hitachi from start to finish on the interior design development programme, particularly knowing that the end result is going to set a new benchmark for rail passenger expectations in the UK. “