Dynamic Testing Begins on Avanti West Coast’s Fleet of Hitachi Trains

Avanti West Coast has announced that the first of its Hitachi Class 805 bi-mode trains has begun dynamic testing at Network Rail’s Rail Innovation and Development Centre (RIDC).

Following the completion of static tests, this dynamic testing marks a major milestone in the operator’s 350 million GBP project.

Avanti New Train
Unit number 805001, still sporting its base livery, is expected to remain at RIDC for most of November

The Class 805 bi-mode train was built at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory in North East England, following an order from Avanti West Coast in 2019. During testing, it will travel under its own power at speed for the first time.

Liam Hockings, New Fleet Introduction Manager at Avanti West Coast, said:

“The new train looks amazing and we’re looking forward to putting it through its paces over the coming months. These new Hitachi trains will help deliver a step change in the travelling experience of our customers and colleagues, along with a much greener and quieter operation.”

Later this year, unit number 805001 will also be joined at the RIDC by a second train (805003) to undergo further testing. Both trains will then move to Oxley depot to begin main line testing prior to entering service on the West Coast Main Line in 2023.

Avanti New Train
Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe factory team

The new fleet will consist of ten seven-car electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains, which will be able to switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power.

The Class 807 electric trains will operate between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, while the bi-mode version will be used on the London to North Wales route.

These vehicles will replace Avanti’s diesel-only Voyager trains. In comparison, they will provide more space and a quieter journey, alongside offering a 61 percent reduction in carbon emissions.

Customers will also benefit from more reliable Wi-Fi; at-seat wireless charging, plug sockets and USB slots; a new catering service; and a real-time passenger information system that includes information on connecting rail services.

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