Shoosmiths advises Hitachi Rail Europe on transformational deal

Shoosmiths advises Hitachi Rail Europe on transformational deal


How Shoosmiths advised HRE on a transformational deal to provide the next generation of high-speed, low-carbon trains for Britain.

"It has been a pleasure to work with Hitachi on such an important project. It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication by a lot of people over a number of years to get to financial close."

Chris McClure

Partner at Shoosmiths


Hitachi Rail Europe (HRE) is the lead member of the Agility Trains consortium with whom the Department for Transport has entered into a series of contracts to replace the current Great Western and East Coast mainline intercity rolling stock in the UK. Shoosmiths is the sole adviser to HRE in connection with this project.


Under the £multi-billion contract, nearly 500 new Class 800 series carriages will be manufactured by HRE. The Class 800 series trains will start running on the East Coast Main Line from 2018.

Shoosmiths has advised on a multiplicity of aspects to the project, including:

  • the establishment of the joint venture company (Agility Trains) which entered into the prime contracts for this transaction.
  • a manufacture and supply agreement between Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail, pursuant to which HRE will manufacture the new fleet of high speed trains, build new maintenance depots for new trains and refurbish existing depots.
  • all property elements of the transaction including in connection with all documents for the leasing and maintenance of multiple depots, including a new train manufacturing facility and test track being built for Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The new manufacturing facility will create more than 730 jobs in the north of England. The scale of the programme is underlined by the relocation of HRE's headquarters from Japan to London as a result of the contract awards. The American Lawyer has awarded the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) its Project Finance (Europe) award.