A TRAIN builder’s investment at its County Durham factory – which now totals £110million – sees new facilities completed, allowing welding and painting to start on brand new UK passenger trains.
New welding and painting facilities will be used to build the next generation of intercity trains for East Midlands Railway and Avanti West Coast at Hitachi, in Newton Aycliffe.
Around 40 staff and newly graduated welders and painters will be completing the high-tech aluminium carriage shells, which are a signature of Hitachi’s intercity fleets.
Jim Brewin, of Hitachi Rail said: “The £110 million we have now invested at Newton Aycliffe is not only a sign of our continued commitment to the North-East of England but also British manufacturing and its supply chain.
Transport for London (TfL) and Siemens Mobility have unveiled the detailed design of the new generation Tube trains for the Piccadilly line, which will soon be in production to replace the existing 1970s fleet.
The trains currently running on the line have become increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain and will be 50 years old by the time they are replaced. Despite the devastating impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on its finances, TfL is continuing to replace these assets, meaning that from 2025, new spacious ‘Inspiro London’ trains will serve customers on the Piccadilly line, future-proofed to ensure they are suitable for many years to come.
As the new trains are introduced to the Piccadilly line, the current fleet will be gradually withdrawn from passenger service and the frequency of trains in peak hours will rise from 24 to 27 trains per hour from mid-2027. This is a train every 135 seconds at the busiest times and represents a 23% increase in peak service capacity.
TFL & Siemens Mobility unveil new Piccadilly line trains interior.
The state-of-the-art Tube trains will significantly improve the experience of millions of customers, with wider doors and longer, walk-through, air-conditioned carriages for more comfortable journeys.
Journeys are set to be improved for northern passengers thanks to £137m of government investment that will deliver more capacity and improve connectivity between Sheffield and Manchester.
To help meet future demand, the Hope Valley capacity scheme is designed to removed bottlenecks on the line by creating places for fast passenger services to overtake slower moving freight trains, allowing more trains to run and increasing the reliability of services.
Network Rail is now finalising detailed designs that will improve sections of the railway between Bamford station and Jaggers Lane Bridge in Hathersage, and around Dore & Totley station where a second platform will also be added. Work is expected to begin in 2022 and will be completed in 2023.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “I am delighted to confirm £137m for this scheme to remove bottlenecks on the Hope Valley line, transforming journeys between Sheffield and Manchester – two dynamic Northern Powerhouse cities.