An £82 million rail vehicle manufacturing facility was opened recently in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham to begin manufacture of the Hitachi Rail trains for the new InterCity Express (IEP) trains.
The facility will be used to manufacture the newest trains operating on the East Coast Main Line and Great Western Main Line as well as new commuter trains in Scotland. VolkerRail completed the works to connect the state of the art facility to the mainline.
The connection project involved the installation of 7,000m of rail sidings and 1km of overhead electrified test track. The team also reconfigured the existing branch line to complete the connection to the facility.
Additional works completed by VolkerRail included modifications to the signaling and telecoms equipment to enable the connection of the test track to the existing railway infrastructure, including a new signaling interlocking and control panel. A 25KV substation was also installed to provide electrification to the factory.
The opening of the facility was marked with the ceremonial sealing of a time capsule by Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP and Mr Higashihara, President and COO of Hitachi Ltd.
The time capsule included a small model of Hitachi’s Class 800/801 IEP train, digital photos of trains painted by local school children, a map of Newton Aycliffe, profile of site architect Masayuki Ninomiya and a mobile phone with photos and videos.
Guests also witnessed the unveiling of the first fully fitted-out IEP train to arrive in the UK.