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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and UK Prime Minister David Cameron visit Hitachi Train Maintenance Centre

Press release   •   May 05, 2016 18:11 BST

5th May 2016/London - Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) was proud to host Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister David Cameron at its recently refurbished North Pole train maintenance centre in West London.

As part of a UK visit by the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Shinzo Abe joined UK Prime Minister David Cameron for a tour of the rail facility, which will serve as one of the maintenance centres along the Great Western Mainline for new Hitachi-built InterCity Express Programme (IEP) trains.

During the tour staff explained to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister David Cameron the innovative and high quality maintenance regimes that underpin the delivery of the new IEP trains, and exhibited the pre-series test train ‘T58’ currently stationed at North Pole.

This was Prime Minister Abe’s first opportunity to visit a Hitachi Rail location in the UK. In September 2015, Hitachi Rail Europe was honoured to receive UK Prime Minister David Cameron when he officially opened its £82 million Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The Newton Aycliffe facility will create 730 jobs and is where the IEP trains for the Great Western and East Coast Main Line, AT200 commuter trains for Scotland and majority of the AT300 Inter City trains for Trans Pennine Express will be manufactured.

Hosting both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister David Cameron during this prestigious visit was Mr Hiroaki Nakanishi, Chairman of the Board, Representative Executive Officer of Hitachi, Ltd, Alistair Dormer, Senior Vice President & Executive Officer of Hitachi, Ltd and Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail Europe.

Karen Boswell said;

“The visit to our North Pole train maintenance centre by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister David Cameron is a very proud moment for Hitachi, highlighting the important role service delivery for our customers plays in our business alongside rolling stock innovation and manufacturing. I am delighted that our partners in the IEP programme, including Agility Trains, the Department for Transport, Network Rail, GWR and Virgin Trains were able to join us for this historic visit, as we all look forward to delivering a step-change in reliability, service, capacity and journey times for rail passengers across the UK”.

During the visit Mr Abe and Mr Cameron had the opportunity to meet key IEP stakeholders including, directors from Agility Trains, Network Rail, Great Western Railway and Virgin Trains, and officials from the Department for Transport.


Notes to Editor

  • The Intercity Express Programme is a £5.7bn Government project to replace the Intercity 125 and Intercity 225 fleets on the Great Western and East Coast Main Lines with new high-speed trains.
  • Hitachi Rail Europe, as part of the Agility Trains consortium, has been contracted to provide the design, build, finance and maintenance of 122 trains over a 27.5 year period.
  • 730 jobs will be created at the brand new state-of-the-art Hitachi rail manufacturing facility including apprenticeships. The facility will also support thousands of jobs in the UK supply chain.
  • ‘T58’ the recently named Virgin “Azuma” IEP train was in North Pole during the visit

Stats about the Hitachi North Pole Train Maintenance Centre:

  • 650,000 man hours worked to date
  • Site completed in October 2014
  • Size of the site in square metres: 150000m2
  • Number of people involved in the construction: 500+
  • Number of those people employed from within a ten-mile radius of the site: 50%
  • Number of apprentices working for VFL at the site during construction: 10
  • Considerate Constructors score: 40

About Hitachi, Ltd.

Hitachi,Ltd.(TSE:6501),head quartered in Tokyo,Japan,delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets.The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2014 (ended March 31,2015) totalled 9,761 billion yen ($81.3 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business,which includes power &infrastructure systems,information&telecommunication systems,construction machinery,high functional materials & components,automotive systems,healthcare and others. For more information on Hitachi,please visit the company's website at

About Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.

Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. and is headquartered in London, UK.

Hitachi Rail Europe is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots.

Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading supplier of high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets. In Europe, Hitachi Rail Europe’s first rolling stock contract was to deliver a fleet of 29 Class 395 trains, the first domestic high-speed train in the UK, which are maintained at Hitachi’s state of the art depot in Ashford, Kent. As part of the British Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi Rail Europe will replace the UK’s ageing fleet of Intercity trains, and will establish a new rolling stock manufacturing facility in the UK for this purpose. The trains will be maintained and services in a number of new maintenance
depots along the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.

For more information about the company, please visit: .

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