by Keri Allan
15 Jun 2022
Static testing has begun on the first of Avanti West Coast’s new fleet of trains at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.
The new fleet, valued at 350 million GBP (408.92m EUR | 439.03m USD), will be a mix of ten seven-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains, with the ability to switch seamlessly between electric and diesel power.
This will offer more than a 60% reduction in carbon emissions.
The Class 807 electric trains will operate between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool while the bi-mode version will be used on Avanti’s London to North Wales route.
Hitachi won the bid to provide these trains in December 2019. Manufacturing began the following year when the first nine body shells were shipped from Hitachi’s Kasado factory in Japan to the Newton Aycliffe factory where the fleet’s final assembly took place.
The new Hitachi trains offer customers more space and a quieter journey compared to the diesel-only Voyager trains they are replacing, with reliable WiFi, at-seat wireless charging for electronic devices, plug sockets and USB slots and a real-time passenger information system that can advise customers of connecting rail services.
All vehicles will now go through rigorous testing before entering service next year.
Static testing will focus on the basic functionality of the train, from brakes and engines to doors to toilets.
Once complete the trains will begin dynamic testing later this year.
“Our teams across the UK are working tenaciously to deliver more Hitachi intercity trains, which are proven to boost reliability and performance.
“We look forward to Avanti passengers experiencing the transformation that follows the introduction of this brand new fleet.”
Liverpool City Region's Headbolt Lane station will open on 5 October to be served by the UK's first battery-powered passenger trains.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has made a final decision for Hitachi’s proposed purchase of Thales' Ground Transportation.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has opened a new maintenance hub in Peterborough following a 5.7 million GBP investment.
The High-Speed Rail Group has published a letter signed by 21 businesses urging the Prime Minister and Chancellor to commit to HS2 Phase 2.
Network Rail has commenced construction work to upgrade the infrastructure and enhance the passenger experience at Luton station.
Avanti West Coast has unveiled the new livery for its fleet of Class 805 trains, which are currently undergoing main line testing.
The Department for Transport has awarded a new National Rail Contract to Avanti West Coast and the West Coast Partnership Development.
Network Rail is investing 3.8 million GBP in carrying out repairs on the world's oldest viaduct in Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside.
HS2 has begun work on assembling the project's longest ‘green tunnel’ in Greatworth, West Northamptonshire.
TfWM has announced that passenger tram services on the West Midlands Metro extension in Wolverhampton will start on 17 September.
Derby City Council has announced that it is seeking talks with Alstom in response to expected job losses at its Derby factory.
Network Rail has announced that it is investing more than 1 million GBP in improving rail infrastructure around Glasgow, Scotland.
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Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway have demonstrated that digital signalling on the Northern City Line is ready for passenger service.
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HS2's high-speed electric trains have become the first in the world to achieve BSI's PAS 2080 carbon reduction standard.
Northern has revealed before and after images of its 350,000 GBP transformation project at the Neville Hill depot in Leeds.
Network Rail will commence a major upgrade project on the River Devon Viaduct, which carries the railway over the River Trent in Newark.
Network Rail is set to switch on 116 newly installed digital signals in south west London and Berkshire from 19 August.
Hitachi Rail and Eversholt Rail have completed refurbishment work on the first of 29 Southeastern high-speed Javelin trains.
HS2's tunnel boring machines (TBMs), Florence and Cecilia have reached the Little Missenden shaft as they dig HS2’s longest tunnels.
Northern has released new dashcam footage to provide a first look at the upcoming Northumberland line connecting Newcastle to Ashington.
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the first of its new Piccadilly Line trains have arrived in Germany for testing.
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Transport for London (TfL) and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) have been fined following the Sandilands Tram derailment in November 2016.
Network Rail has signed a MoU with SBB to collaborate on deploying technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) on the railway.
Eurostar Group has rolled out a contactless, biometric check-in system to improve efficiency at London St Pancras Station.
After six years at the head of HS2 Ltd, CEO Mark Thurston has announced that he will leave the organisation this autumn.
The ORR has told the British rail industry that it needs to improve the reliability of passenger assistance for disabled passengers.
The University of Birmingham has been awarded £15m by the UKRPIF to establish a new railway research and innovation centre at Goole.
HS2 Ltd has begun the procurement process for the APM system that will run between Solihull's Interchange Station and Birmingham Airport.
Hitachi Rail has been awarded an eight-year contract to continue its maintenance of 19 intercity Class 802 trains – the Nova 1 fleet.
Train companies in England have launched a passenger consultation on plans to 'modernise' customer service across the rail network.
HS2 has announced that a second set of proposed changes to the High Speed Rail (Crewe – Manchester) Bill has been introduced to Parliament.
Transport for London (TfL) has exercised an option to order an additional 11 new DLR trains from CAF to enter service by 2026.
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Transport for London (TfL) has submitted a Strategic Outline Case on the proposed extension of the DLR to Thamesmead and Beckton Riverside.
HS2 has released the first images of the tunnel boring machine that will dig Bromford Tunnel between North Warwickshire and Birmingham.
Network Rail has completed 16 days of major track upgrades in the Clay Cross and Milford tunnels in Derbyshire.
Northern has announced plans to equip up to 40 of its trains with data collection kits to improve predictive maintenance on the rail network.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally concluded that Hitachi’s acquisition of Thales GTS could reduce competition.
Nexus has contracted Furrer+Frey to renew Newcastle Metro's electrification equipment to help improve the system's reliability.
Construction is now underway on a new, 4-platform station at Cambridge Biomedical Campus as part of the UK's upcoming East-West Rail route.
Siemens Mobility has been awarded a contract extension for the maintenance of 51 Class 185 trains operating in the north of England.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the preferred route alignment from Bedford to Cambridge for the new East West Rail line.
The first of Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) Class 387 Great Northern Electrostar trains has completed static testing retrofitted with ETCS.
The UK government has announced a 72 million GBP package to help deliver more reliable trains in Manchester.
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Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has appointed DB ESG to deliver the tram safety improvement programme for its Metrolink service.
LA Metro has announced that the Regional Connector light rail transit project will officially open to the public on 16 June.
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Network Rail has announced the next step in its plans to deliver digital signalling across the first section of the East Coast Main Line.
Network Rail has published its 44 billion GBP five-year plan to improve the railway in England and Wales throughout Control Period 7 (CP7).
The London boroughs have collaborated on a list of infrastructure projects that should be prioritised, including the Bakerloo line extension.
LNER, Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail have signed an agreement to define how they will effectively collaborate over the next three decades.
ORR has written to Network Rail to express concerns about its backlog in examining the condition of railway structures.
LNER is introducing simpler and more flexible fares across its network as part of its mission to transform the UK's ticketing system.
Transport Secretary: Transpennine Express won't have its contract renewed. Instead, it will be brought into Operator of Last Resort.
Northern has upgraded its depot in Barrow-in-Furness to enable longer trains to operate between Cumbria and Manchester.
The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) has taken delivery of its first rail carriage, marking the start of a new partnership with Talgo.
Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that the full peak Elizabeth line timetable will be introduced on Sunday 21 May 2023.
With Railtex taking place in Birmingham, we take a look at the history of Birmingham’s Curzon Street within the context of HS2.
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Great Western Railway (GWR) and Eversholt Rail have extended their maintenance partnership with Hitachi Rail.
HS2 has received design approval for Small Dean Viaduct, which will take HS2 trains across the A413 and local rail lines.
Hitachi Rail will test the latest rail technologies, including battery systems and digital solutions at the Global Centre of Rail Excellence.
GB Railfreight (GBRf) has contracted Stadler to provide full service for up to 30 Class 99 bi-mode Co’Co locomotives.
The first Class 93 tri-mode locomotives for Rail Operations Group has completed testing at Stadler’s facility in Valencia, Spain.
The government has published its UK Wireless Infrastructure Strategy, which includes a focus on improving mobile coverage for rail.
Skanska Costain STRABAG JV has launched HS2's third London tunnel boring machine (TBM), 'Lydia' to construct the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel.
Northern and the University of Sheffield have developed new ‘supersonic-cryogenic’ technology that can be fitted onto trains to clear leaves.
Midland Metro Alliance has commenced vehicle testing on the Wolverhampton City Centre Metro extension tram line. With testing and commissioning now underway ...
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A tunnelling milestone for HS2: the tunnel boring machine Dorothy has broken through on the second bore of the Long Itchington Wood tunnel.
TfL has secured grant funding to help make the Therapia Lane London Trams depot in Croydon greener and more energy efficient.
The National Audit Office has released a report evaluating whether the DfT and HS2 Ltd can effectively manage the delivery of HS2 Euston.
Southeastern and Network Rail have announced a 4.4 million GBP project to deliver station improvements across Kent and south east London.
TfL has released its annual budget, revealing that it can now fully cover operational costs and invest in new and improved services.
Coventry Very Light Rail has completed construction on a new test site for its unique track system at Coventry City Council’s Whitley Depot.
The ORR has given authorisation for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to operate its Class 717 fleet with Level 2 ETCS digital signalling.
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DB Cargo UK has collaborated with Group Technical Support and Toton TMD to test the impact of using HVO to power locomotives.
The Department for Transport has extended Avanti West Coast's contract for 6 months following the operator's improved performance.
Greater Manchester has announced a new devolution deal with the UK government to grant it more influence over regional rail services.
Train operator, Avanti West Coast has launched a low-cost Superfare 'standby' ticket for flexible travellers.
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Research from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) reveals significant potential to electrify UK rail freight operations.
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TfWM and the WMRE have announced plans to explore the feasibility for five new railway stations within the West Midlands.
Stadler has successfully delivered the first of 46 new Tyne and Wear Metro trains to Nexus' Gosforth Metro Depot in the North of England.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has visited the new ticket hall at Bank Underground station, which completes its 700 million GBP upgrade.
Network Rail has selected SNC-Lavalin Group to deliver signalling renewal projects across the south of England.
The East Coast Digital Programme has further progressed, thanks to new signalling in the Wood Green – New Barnet area of north London.
GWR is to buy several assets from Vivarail, securing the future of trials of fast-charge battery technology.
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