Rail Minister Claire Perry visited Warwick today (Wednesday 15 October) to get a first glimpse of the new state-of-the-art train set to transform travel on some of the UK’s key rail routes.
The Minister was given a guided tour of a mock-up of Hitachi’s new train, part of the government’s £5.7billion Intercity Express Programme. The new electric and bi-mode trains will run on the Great Western Mainline from 2017 and the East Coast Mainline from 2018, bringing more capacity, as well as quicker, more reliable and greener services for thousands of passengers.
During the visit, the minister met with electrical engineering students from the University of Birmingham, many of whom could play a key role in the future of the UK’s railways.
Claire Perry said:
We are investing record amount in our railways as part of our long-term economic plan. The Intercity Express Programme, which will transform the experience of thousands of passengers travelling between some of our key cities, is a key part of that.
Today was fantastic opportunity not just to get a glimpse of what that experience will be like but also to hear the views of young engineers who could be playing a major role in the future of our railways, I was especially pleased to meet so many women who are involved in the engineering, design and management of one of Britain’s key growth industries. Like them, I can’t wait to see the first of these trains rolling out on our network.
The new trains will provide significant benefits to passengers, with 19% more seats on each train and greater reliability. Passengers travelling between London and Edinburgh on the East Coast Main Line could see their journey times reduced by around 15 minutes. The journey time between Bristol and London on the Great Western Main Line could be reduced by as much as 20 minutes.
They will be manufactured by Hitachi at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, Country Durham. The Intercity Express Programme, will see a total of 866 carriages manufactured for use on the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines, creating 730 jobs locally.