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Hitachi production team wear appropriate PPE when manufacturing in Newton Aycliffe
Hitachi production team wear appropriate PPE when manufacturing in Newton Aycliffe

Press release -

Hitachi Rail begins new phase of manufacturing at UK factory with East Coast Trains order

Manufacturing of five 100% electric East Coast Trains began earlier today, signalling the start of a new phase of train building at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.

The construction of the new intercity trains for the open access operator (East Coast Trains Limited) incorporates a more extensive manufacturing programme than previous fleets. The increased scope will see the highly skilled workforce create a new state-of-art fleet from empty aluminium shells.

Despite the impact of Covid-19, Hitachi Rail has continued to work diligently and safely in preparing the factory and is now ready to start manufacturing the East Coast Trains order.

The five fully electric East Coast Trains – known in the rail industry as Class 803s – will begin carrying passengers between Edinburgh and London from autumn 2021, offering passengers a high quality, cost effective and more sustainable alternative to flying between two of the UK’s capital cities.

East Coast Trains are focused on delighting passengers. They will have the first service of the day from London to Edinburgh, making it an attractive alternative to flying. The trains will also travel entirely in electric mode, resulting in zero-emission intercity travel.

These trains are part of the award winning Class 800 series, which are currently some of the UK’s most reliable new train fleets and improving passenger satisfaction.

Hitachi Rail are due to build more intercity orders this year, which will benefit from their £8.5m investment in welding and painting at the factory.

Ross Nagle, COO Rolling Stock UK at Hitachi Rail: “Building these East Coast Trains signifies a new and exciting chapter for Hitachi Rail’s UK factory.

“It is an important step as we increase our manufacturing capabilities and upskill our workforce at Newton Aycliffe, which includes a £8.5m investment in new welding and painting facilities.

“The increased skills of our workforce makes us well placed to deliver a number of highly significant orders over the next 12 months, and consolidate our place as a strategic North East manufacturing hub.”

Helen Wylde, Managing Director at East Coast Trains: “Its great to see our new 100% electric trains being assembled by the skilled team at Newton Aycliffe.

“We are delighted that these trains will be at the cutting-edge of low-emission rail transport, underlining the benefits of using our rail service for travel between the two capital cities.”

Ross Shepherd, Chief Technical Officer, Beacon Rail Leasing Limited: We are delighted to see the start of the manufacture of our all-electric Class 803 fleet in the UK. It is a sign of the strong teamwork and commitment to safety across the project that this has been achieved in these extraordinary times.

The Class 803 demonstrates Beacon’s commitment to delivering environmentally friendly rail travel across Europe”.

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About Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries, across three continents and over 12,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world ­famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state-of­-the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry ­leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit www.hitachirail.com.

About First Group

FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is a leading provider of transport services in the UK and North America. With £7.1 billion in revenue and around 100,000 employees, we transported 2.2 billion passengers last year. Whether for business, education, health, social or recreation – we get our customers where they want to be, when they want to be there. We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier.

We provide easy and convenient mobility, improving quality of life by connecting people and communities.

Each of our five divisions is a leader in its field: In North America, First Student is the largest provider of home-to-school student transportation with a fleet of 43,000 yellow school buses, First Transit is one of the largest providers of outsourced transit management and contracting services, while Greyhound is the only nationwide operator of scheduled intercity coaches. In the UK, First Bus is one of Britain's largest bus companies with 1.6 million passengers a day, and First Rail is one of the country's largest and most experienced rail operators, carrying 345 million passengers last year.

Visit our website at www.firstgroupplc.com and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.

About Beacon Rail

Beacon is a rolling stock leasing company headquartered in Luxembourg and focused on serving European and UK markets. Beacon’s current portfolio includes 346 locomotives, 1,000 freight wagons, and 575 passenger vehicles on lease across Europe. Beacon has industry leading management expertise and capital markets experience, enabling it to meet the equipment needs of its pan-European customer base.

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Nadia Alves-Pires

Nadia Alves-Pires

Press contact Head of External Relations & Communication – Signalling & Turnkey EMEA
Lane Cigna

Lane Cigna

Press contact Head of External Relations & Communication – Signalling & Turnkey Americas
Nina Harding

Nina Harding

Press contact Communications Manager – UK +44 7753 453 914
Jamie Hodge

Jamie Hodge

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Adam Love

Adam Love

Press contact Head of External Communications & Public Affairs – UK +44 203 904 4034
Paola Limatola

Paola Limatola

Press contact Press Office & Media, Brand Image Referent – Rolling Stock
Doug McIlroy

Doug McIlroy

Press contact Communications Manager – UK +44 203 904 4000
Anne Richardson

Anne Richardson

Press contact Head of External Relations & Communication – Signalling & Turnkey Asia Pacific
Francesca Sarnataro

Francesca Sarnataro

Press contact Brand & Communication Director – Rolling Stock

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