12 February 2009

Green Light for Super Express

A £7.5 billion contract has today been awarded by the Government to Agility Trains to construct a fleet of new trains to replace the now ageing HST fleet on the East Coast and Great Western main lines.

Agility Trains, a consortium of Hitachi, Barclays Private Equity and John Laing Projects and Developments, will be responsible for both the building and maintaining of the new trains, the first of which are expected to enter service in 2013 on the East Coast Main Line.

Whilst the location for the construction of the trains has yet to be decided, it is hoped that over 12,500 jobs will be created as a result of the contract. Agility Trains said it was committed to spending 70% of the contract value in the UK and it was in active discussions with 20 UK suppliers, which will have a knock-on effect of safeguarding jobs in the UK.

The new fleet of Hitachi Super Express Trains will provide more seats and are three times more reliable than existing fleets, said the consortium.

A BBC news video about the new trains may be viewed by clicking here, (PW)