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In a major milestone for the £350m project, the first of Avanti West Coast’s new fleet of trains has entered crucial testing at Hitachi Rail’s Newton Aycliffe factory in the North East.

Carriages from a Class 805 train are being coupled together to mark the start of the extensive testing programme ahead of the planned entry into service in 2023 on the West Coast Main Line.

All basic functionality of the train, from brakes to engines, doors to toilets, will be put through their paces prior to the start of dynamic testing later in the year, when the trains will move under their own power for the first time.

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