A five car test train (802 001) built at Hitachi’s factory in Japan arrived in Southampton port on Saturday 17 June. The train was welcomed onto UK soil by GWR (train operator), Hitachi (train manufacturer) and Eversholt Rail (financiers of the Class 802 fleet).
The train will now be made ready to begin testing in the coming weeks prior to entering passenger service from summer next year. Two further test trains are due to arrive in the UK shortly. The new fleet harnesses Hitachi’s pioneering Japanese bullet train technology, known for its quality and reliability. Passengers can expect more seats, better on-board facilities and shorter journey times.
Class 802: Testing of new trains to begin this summer
Passengers will also benefit from new on-board technology, including real-time journey updates and seat reservation screens. The 36 train fleet is fitted with bi-mode technology, allowing trains to use both diesel and electric power, and passengers to enjoy the benefits of new trains as soon as possible. The Intercity Express Train is designed to withstand the region’s variable weather conditions, including routes along the Dawlish coast.
From this autumn, the first wave of InterCity Express Trains will run on the historic Great Western main line, connecting London to key UK cities including Reading, Bath, Bristol and Cardiff. Production of these trains is already underway in the UK at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
From Summer 2018 a second wave of new trains will begin running as far south as Penzance along coastal routes in Devon and Cornwall. The first of these trains arrived in the UK today. The entire fleet of 93 trains will be in passenger service by the end of 2019. (kfg/Hitachi)