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Business & Economy

Hitachi Rail on track as Avanti West Coast stock testing begins

A trainbuilder says it has hit a “major milestone” after kickstarting testing on a £350 million fleet.

Hitachi Rail is trialling its first Avanti West Coast rolling stock.

The trains, made at the company’s plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, are expected to enter service next year.

Bosses say all aspects of stock, from brakes to engines, doors and toilets will be assessed, ahead of dynamic testing later this year, when trains will move under their own power for the first time.

The new fleet will include ten seven-carriage electric trains and 13 five-carriage bi-mode trains, which will be able to switch between electric and diesel power.



Electric trains will operate between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, with bi-mode models connecting London and North Wales.

Jim Brewin, Hitachi Rail’s head of UK and Ireland, said: “Our teams across the UK are working tenaciously to deliver more intercity trains, which are proven to boost reliability and performance.

“We look forward to Avanti passengers experiencing the transformation that follows the introduction of this fleet.”

Phil Whittingham, Avanti West Coast managing director, added: “It’s great to see the new trains taking shape.

“The investment is a key part of our exciting plans to raise the bar for the UK rail industry.”