Hitachi Rail Europe is set to open its new rolling stock manufacturing and assembly plant in the UK on 3 September.
The new £82m plant in Newton Aycliffe is the first European train factory of Hitachi Rail.
The new facility will initially be used to build Super Express Trains for the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.
Hitachi will manufacture a total of 866 Class 800/801 train carriages destined to run on the Great Western Main Line from 2017 and East Coast Main Line from 2018.
In addition, the new facility will support UK’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) and deliver the new AT200 commuter trains for Abellio’s ScotRail franchise. For this programme, the company will manufacture a larger portion of the trains at Newton Aycliffe.
The plant will have the capacity to manufacture 35 vehicles each month and its production capability includes high-speed trains, commuter trains and metro trains.
Moreover, it offers research & development facility and test track on-site, the company stated.
Hitachi received a £4m grant from the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills for this project.
In 2012, the company decided to build this facility after a consortium comprising Hitachi Rail Europe secured a contract to replace the ageing fleet of diesel-powered intercity trains.
According to Hitachi, the new facility will create 730 new jobs, including skilled and semi-skilled technical roles for apprentices and graduates.
Image: Once completed, the facility will serve as Hitachi Rail Europe’s facility for train manufacturing. Photo: courtesy of Hitachi Rail Europe.