Contractor chosen to build Hitachi IEP factory

Hitachi has appointed Shepherd to construct its new rolling stock manufacturing site in Newton Aycliffe.

The UK’s Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, attended an event at the site today (November 1) to mark the latest milestone and the new factory’s role in ‘raising the prospect of the UK once again competing for export orders in European markets’.

The new £82 million site is expected to create 150 construction jobs and a further 730 direct positions once complete in 2015.

In 2017, the first of 122 new Class 800 trains being built at Newton Aycliffe will begin service on the Great Western Main Line.

Photo: Hitachi.

Photo: Hitachi.

Agility Trains – a joint venture between Hitachi and John Laing – was awarded the initial £4.5 billion for a new fleet of 92 trains to replace Intercity 125s on the Great Western mainline. In July, the consortium was awarded an additional £1.2 billion contract for an extra 30 trains to take over from the East Coast’s fleet of 225s.

As well as delivering IEP, the factory is expected to strengthen Hitachi’s bid for the Crossrail rolling stock contract.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has invested £4 million in the scheme in a bid to support train manufacturing in the UK.

Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable said: ”Hitachi’s decision to base its European factory in Newton Aycliffe shows the UK is an attractive place for international businesses to invest and grow. The factory will be a great boost to the North East economy, creating over 700 jobs and bringing a long tradition of rail manufacturing back to the region.”

Executive chairman and chief executive officer of Hitachi Rail Europe Alistair Dormer said: “We want to establish Hitachi Rail Europe as a key British manufacturer of trains and this new factory is a huge step towards doing that. In just 18 months, what stands today as an empty field will become home to a state-of the-art facility, manufacturing trains for Europe and the UK.

“This investment will secure employment for more than 150 workers during the build phase and many more from the supply chain. The majority of recruits will be from County Durham and the North East.”