First ECML and GWML train makes epic journey from Japan to UK for next stage of IEP
On 7 January, shipment of the first pre-series Class 800 train for the UK Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP) commenced from Kasado Works in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan to arrive in Southampton, UK on 12 March.
Please see below video of the shipment of the train from Japan to the UK.
The IEP is an innovative scheme that covers the finance, design, manufacture, delivery into daily service and maintenance over 26 years of a fleet of 122 state-of-the-art Super Express trains for the Great Western Main Line (GWML) and the East Coast Main Line (ECML). Agility Trains will be responsible for the delivery of trains on a daily basis to the train operators, utilising new or refurbished train care facilities to achieve a step change in reliability and availability compared with the current fleet.
The first train will arrive in the UK in March of this year, after which it will undergo extensive testing to ensure compatibility with the network. The running tests are to be carried out on the UK rail network by Hitachi Rail Europe, to enable acceptance by Agility Trains (the company established by John Laing and Hitachi Rail Europe to deliver the IEP for the DfT), who will provide the trains to the train operators, First Great Western and Inter City Railways. These trains are due to run on the GWML from 2017.
Once the first train arrives in the UK, it will be supported and maintained at new and refurbished train care facilities on the Great Western Main Line. North Pole Train Maintenance Centre (West London) has been completely refurbished and new connections to the GWML were recently commissioned. Stoke Gifford Train Maintenance Centre (Bristol), which recently saw the completion of its external building envelope, is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year and will also support the train fleet.