Union welcomes £4.5 billion investment in new trains
25 Jul 2012
ASLEF today welcomed the long awaited announcement of £4.5 billion of investment in new trains. The new intercity express fleet of 92 trains will be assembled at a new factory at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham by a consortium led by Japanese manufacturer Hitachi in partnership with UK constructor John Laing. Hitachi were awarded preferred bidder status in February 2009.
As well as building an assembly facility, Hitachi will construct maintenance depots in Bristol, Swansea, west London and Doncaster while existing maintenance depots across the UK will be upgraded. The new fleet will be comprised of electric and bi-mode trains of between 5 and 9 vehicles in length. Construction of the new site is expected to begin next year, and to become fully operational in 2015.
ASLEF General Secretary Mick Whelan said, ‘today’s announcement of new rolling stock is much needed and long overdue. This investment will create jobs and the additional capacity will lead to a better service and less overcrowding for passengers on both the East Coast and Great Western lines.’