LNER, Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail Sign Collaborative Relationship Charter

London North Eastern Railway (LNER), Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail have signed an agreement to define how they will collaborate over the next three decades.

In 2014, the Department for Transport (DfT) contracted Hitachi Rail’s Agility Trains to provide 65 high-speed Azuma trains for the second phase of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) on the East Coast Main Line.

These British-built trains were designed and deployed in consultation with train operator, LNER.

LNER Azuma
One of LNER’s Azuma trains, which travel between London, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh

In addition, the DfT established a long-term operational agreement between LNER and Agility Trains for the provision of passenger rolling stock, which runs until August 2046.

Now, the recently signed Relationship Charter will build on this agreement to commit the companies to a set of values and behaviours for the remaining 23 years of their contracts.

Sara Holland, Fleet Director East Coast at Hitachi Rail, 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.”

The charter outlines opportunities for active collaboration so that each organisation can achieve its goals.

This includes strategic, tactical, operational, interpersonal and cultural priorities.

Linda Wain, Engineering Director at LNER, 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. Our customers are at the heart of everything we do at LNER and ensuring they enjoy the best possible experience when they travel with us. Working together with our partners is a key part of delivering the best service.”

The agreement was announced in coordination with the fourth anniversary of the first Azuma train entering LNER passenger service on 19 May 2019.

It presents a new approach to collaborative partnerships, which the companies believe could become more standard across the industry moving forward.

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