Hitachi Rail Europe has commenced the development of a fleet of new trains for the East Coast Mainline (ECM) in the UK, Railway Technology reports.
The ECM has started work on the British franchise of London North Eastern Railway’s Azuma fleet and is set to be created at Hitachi’s Newton Aycliffe facility in County Durham.
“We’re delighted that manufacturing has now commenced on Azuma in County Durham,” said LNER managing director David Horne.
“Our customers can expect a fleet of high-tech, modern trains that will deliver more seats and space, as well as faster journeys.”
“Azuma will play a key role in revolutionising travel on the east coast mainline, delivering first-class service, as well as extra services for Bradford, Lincoln, Harrogate and Edinburgh.”
The trains have been created by utilising Japanese bullet train technology and are expected to be in use by the end of the year.
It is anticipated that the new implementation of the new fleet will decrease passengers’ journey time and the service will connect London with Yorkshire, with Scotland being introduced from next year.
“Our pioneering Azuma trains, inspired by Japanese bullet trains, will transform journeys on the East Coast mainline,” said, Hitachi Rail Europe managing director, Karen Boswell.
“By building them at Newton Aycliffe, we are supporting thousands of jobs with a strong British supplier base.”
The factory currently has 730 workers and has recently brought in 50 new apprentices.