UK: Testing Begins on Avanti West Coast’s New Fleet of Hitachi Trains

Static testing has begun on the first of Avanti West Coast’s new fleet of trains at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory.

Start of testing marks major milestone for Avanti West Coast’s new fleet
Start of testing marks major milestone for Avanti West Coast’s new fleet

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.

Jim Brewin, Hitachi Rail’s Head of UK and Ireland, said:

“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.”

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