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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Construction of IEP train factory confirmed

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Hitachi has signed a contract which will soon see work start on the factory that will assemble the new fleet of trains to replace Britain’s ageing InterCity 125 trains.

Hitachi Rail Europe has confirmed that Merchant Place Developments will construct and fit-out the new site in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The new factory, which will cost £82 million over the three-year construction period, will be Hitachi’s first European train factory.

Hitachi is hoping that as well as supplying Super Express Trains for the Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line, the new site in the north of England will go on to deliver rolling stock for projects across Europe, including Crossrail for which Hitachi is a bidding alongside Bombardier, Siemens and CAF.

Alistair Dormer, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “The close of contract with Merchant Place Development signals a new phase in Hitachi’s commitment to the British rail industry.

“By investing substantially in our train factory, we are creating employment opportunities for a large number of engineers and technicians in the North East of England, which has a strong tradition of engineering skills.

“We are keen to fill our order books, building trains here in the UK – for use in Britain and for exporting to continental Europe.”

The archaeological surveys that must be completed before construction can begin are already underway.

Ground is expected to be broken on site later this year, with the first trains arriving for assembly in 2016 before entering service the following year.


  1. “new fleet of trains to replace Britain’s ageing InterCity 125 trains.”

    should read:

    “new fleet of trains to replace most of Britain’s ageing InterCity 125 trains.”


  2. Two questions:
    1. What happened to John Laing, who were supposedly responsible for construction of the factory and and IEP train maintance depots? Have they pulled out of the Agility consortium?
    2. Nobody at Hitachi has yet said what, if anything, will actually be made at Newton Aycliffe. There is now conjecture that it will merely be an assembly plant for components manufactured in Japan and elsewhere.


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