Hitachi Rail Europe has entered into a testing contract with London-based GB Railfreight to support the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
Under the contract, GB Railfreight will provide train operations to facilitate the testing and commissioning of new Class 800 and Class 801 trains for the Great Western Main Line.
The company will also deliver locomotives for transit movements and train crews throughout the test programme.
The contract has been designed to allow for type conformance and performance testing, including trials of internal and external noise, pantograph performance, running characteristics and braking performance.
The testing of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), meanwhile, will ensure the non-interference of Class 800/801 trains with infrastructure and other trains running on the lines.
Hitachi Rail Europe managing director Keith Jordan said that the company is dedicated to delivering the Class 800 series trains into service on schedule and it is important to have the right partner to support its testing programme.
"GB Railfreight have shown that they align well with the Intercity Express Programme requirements and locations, offering a highly proactive response to the scenarios we need to test," Jordan said.
GB Railfreight managing director John Smith said that the Class 800/801 units for the IEP programme represent a major step forward in the continued modernisation of the UK railway system.
"GB Railfreight look forward to working with Hitachi to ensure that these trains are tested and commissioned so that they are ready to deliver better services for UK rail passengers," Smith added.
The London-based firm will support Hitachi Rail Europe’s complete compatibility process as it prepares to start full testing in March 2015.
Image: GB Railfreight will provide train operations to facilitate the testing and commissioning of new Class 800 and Class 801 trains for the Great Western Main Line.