A new Hitachi Rail-built Class 800 Intercity Express train has been successfully tested for the first time on the Great Western Railway in the UK.
Managed by Network Rail, the trials saw the new electric train make two test runs at speeds of up to 125mph on the line between Reading and Didcot. This helped validate its overhead electric power system.
The route between Reading and Didcot was first electrified to serve as a testing ground for power systems and trains.
Network Rail's Western route managing director Mark Langman said: “This is a great step forward, and I’d like to pay tribute to the team who have worked very hard to make this happen. This is the future of rail being built before our eyes and it’s a very exciting time to be involved in this project.
“This weekend, we’ve come a big step closer to providing faster, quieter, and more efficient services to the people of the region who depend on railways.”
Network Rail is currently electrifying the entire line between London Paddington and Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford, and Newbury, as part of a programme funded by the UK Government.
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Public services on the Great Western line are expected to begin from summer 2017.
Hitachi Rail Europe will provide new electric and bi-mode trains, with a total of 369 carriages for the Great Western Main Line and 497 for the East Coast Main Line, under the Department for Transport's Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
Image: The electric passenger services on the Great Western line are expected to begin in summer next year. Photo: © Network Rail.