A mock-up of the inter-city express driver’s cab at the DCA workshop in Warwick. Photo: The Oxford Times

A glimpse of the future shape of rail travel on the East Coast and Great Western main lines is now available in Warwick.

A mock-up of the new inter-city express went on show to the press this week (28 May 2014) in Leamington Spa, where some of the design work is being carried out.

The trains will be constructed by Hitachi at a factory that is being built in in Newton Aycliffe, county Durham, but Leamington-based DCA Designers International have helped to develop the final design.

A prototype is being built in Hitachi’s Japanese factory and is expected to be completed next month. It will arrive in Britain to start tests in the autumn.

Two versions of the 125mph trains are on order for Great Western services: electric trains and bi-mode, electro-diesel units.

The bi-modes are expected to be used on the Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester, running as electrics from London to Oxford and then switching to diesel power.

Trial running is expected to take place next year between Didcot and Reading, once overhead electric wires are installed as part of the Great Western main line electrification programme.

The inter-city express fleet was ordered by the Government under a £5.8 billion private finance initiative contract with Agility Trains, a consortium of Hitachi and British infrastructure management firm John Laing.

The trains will operate on the Great Western from 2017 and on the East Coast from 2018.

Information from: Oxford Times


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