Hitachi Rail Europe is one of the most significant inward investors in County Durham. The company is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots. Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading supplier of metro, commuter and high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets.
The company is part of the Agility Trains consortium which has been awarded a £5.8BN contract to finance, design, manufacture, maintain and service the next generation of intercity carriages to improve the UK’s mainline rail services.
Nearly 900 new carriages will be made in a factory currently under construction at Merchant Park, a site in Newton Aycliffe owned by Merchant Place Developments. The facility’s production capability includes high-speed trains, commuter trains and metro trains, and will be home to an on-site research & development facility and test track. Representing an £82M investment, it will be operational from 2015, creating 730 jobs along with a further 200 construction jobs.
Photos courtesy of Philip Hunton Photography and Mantis Media
The train fleet will be comprised of electric and bi-mode trains, some five vehicles long and others nine vehicles. These will be faster accelerating than existing stock, and will offer the potential for more frequent services. The higher train capacity will mean more seats and less crowding between Britain’s major cities. The modern vehicles will offer a step-change in passenger comfort through increased carry-on luggage space, electronic seat reservations, and no compromise on leg-room. A demanding performance regime will encourage the trains to run reliably throughout the life of the fleet. The first trains will enter revenue-earning service on the Great Western Main Line in 2017 and on the East Coast Main Line by 2018.
Recruitment has started for some engineering and support roles at Hitachi Rail Europe and more positions will be advertised throughout 2014 and 2015. If you are interested in working for Hitachi Rail Europe, register your interest at www.hitachi-careers.eu and Hitachi will notify you when an opportunity arises in your chosen area of interest.