On 16th April 2014, the Department for Transport and Agility Trains East, with its shareholders Hitachi Rail Europe & John Laing Investments, achieved financial close for the East Coast Main Line fleet of trains for the DfT's Intercity Express Programme.
Under the new £2.7 billion contract, nearly 500 new Class 800 series carriages will be manufactured by Hitachi. The new trains are a combination of fully electric and bi-mode trains, the latter have diesel and electric propulsion.
The Class 800 series trains will start running on the East Coast Main Line from 2018.
This is a follow on order from the contract for Class 800 series trains for the Great Western Main Line that was completed in July 2012.
As a consequence of this transaction, a new train manufacturing facility and test track is being built for Hitachi at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The new trains will be manufactured by Hitachi at this facility creating 730 jobs locally.
Hitachi will be responsible for maintaining the new fleet over the next 30 years or so. To facilitate that, it is to build a new, state of the art, train maintenance facility at Doncaster and to carry out substantial refurbishment works at various other depots.
The Shoosmiths Rail Team, led by Chris McClure and including partners Mark Shepherd (equity and investment), Joanne McGuinness (Real Estate and Rail Regulatory) and Simon Wain (construction), acted for Hitachi in relation to this transaction.
Chris McClure said "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. It has been an honour to have been selected by Hitachi to work as part of their team."