New Intercity Express trains have completed their first journey in Wales ahead of entering passenger service later this year.
Hitachi, the company building and maintaining the new fleet, successfully ran the test train along the Great Western main line to Wales. The train ran through the Severn Tunnel, Newport, Cardiff, Bridgend and Port Talbot before finishing at Hitachi’s purpose built train maintenance centre in Swansea.
New trains transforming passenger experiences in Wales
The new Intercity Express trains will bring a step change in passenger experience, offering passengers more seats, more space and better on-board technology.
From autumn 2017 the trains will connect Wales to London Paddington and major English cities such as Reading, Bristol, Bath and Swindon.
Each of the new trains will be bi-mode, allowing them to switch seamlessly between diesel and electric power. This means even whilst modernisation of the Great Western route takes place, passengers will still be able to benefit from the new trains.
Designed in Japan. Built in Britain
The new trains for Wales are being built at Hitachi’s UK manufacturing facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. Using their famous Japanese bullet train technology, Hitachi’s intercity trains will offer the very best in build quality and reliability.
The trains will become a common sight in Wales as test activity increasing over the coming months.
Karen Boswell, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said:
“Our new intercity trains will bring rail travel in Wales firmly into the 21st century. These modern trains are being built in Britain using pioneering Japanese bullet train technology.
“For passengers in Wales this milestone marks another step closer in experiencing the benefits of investment in their railways”
A Network Rail spokesman: “The introduction of the new Hitachi intercity trains is a vital part of our Railway Upgrade Plan to improve journeys for passengers”
Press Release issued by Hitachi