LNER, Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail have unveiled a relationship charter that will guide how the three companies interact for over 20 years. 

The industry collaborators have signed the agreement to signal a commitment to shared values with the aim of creating an open culture to benefit customers. 

Linda Wain, LNER’s engineering director, described working with industry partners as a key part of providing the best service. 

Wain said: “By outlining common values and high standards for collaboration and interaction, the Charter is a commitment to working together to reach our shared competitive goals and to achieve operational benefits through a spirit of mutual trust and openness.” 

Alongside shared values, the charter also outlines a number of opportunities for collaboration to achieve business goals including: 

  • Strategic and Tactical opportunities, such as ensuring contact between owners and project leads 
  • Operational opportunities including the sharing of resources, data and skills 
  • Interpersonal and Cultural opportunities to promote respect, appreciation and awareness 

LNER and Agility’s partnership began in 2014 after the Department for Transport (DfT) contracted the latter to provide 65 new high-speed Azuma trains for the second phase of the Intercity Express Programme on the East Coat Main Line. 

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The long-term relationship between the three companies was then solidified by an operational agreement established by the DfT between LNER and Agility, which is partly owned by Hitachi Rail for the provision of passenger rolling stock services. 

The relationship charter has been signed between the companies for the remainder of that contract, until 2046 and possibly beyond. 

Sara Holland, Hitachi’s east coast fleet director, said: “Our collaboration has resulted in the British-built Azuma achieving award-winning performance. 

“The relationship charter will build on this success, ensuring shared values and high standards are engrained in everything we do from boardroom to depot.” 

Hitachi has affirmed or created a number of relationships with UK rail industry players this year, including extending its maintenance contract with Great Western and forming a partnership with the Global Centre of Rail Excellence to test new technology.