Hitachi Rail UK investments in North East reach £110mn

By Georgia Wilson
Hitachi Rail’s investments in its County Durham factory has reached £110mn...

Latest announcements made by Hitachi Rail, reports that its investments at its UK, County Durham factory has reached £110mn. Recent investments made in the factory - £8.5mn - have allowed the company to complete the construction of new facilities for welding and painting of UK passenger trains to begin.

“It is fitting that Hitachi Rail are building the next generation of intercity trains in County Durham, a place with a proud and illustrious railway heritage. Their long-term commitment and continued investment in the North East is a major boost for jobs and skills, driving economic growth and helping level up our country as we build back better from the pandemic,” commented , Grant Shapps, MP, Transport Secretary.

Hitachi Rail, new facilities at County Durham

Developing the next generation of intercity trains for East Midlands Railway and Avanti West Coast, 40 staff and newly graduated welders and painters will use the new bespoke facilities to complete the high-tech aluminium carriage shells. 

Investing in high value aspects of manufacturing will help Hitachi Rail to further its long term commitments to the region, marking the first time in decades that a new train welding facility has been developed in Britain. 

By investing in the creation of its new facilities, Hitachi Rail has also been conducting an extensive upskilling programme for its staff and apprentices which includes an eight week initial training programme for a welding certification, with further training for additional specialist qualifications. 

“The £110 million we have now invested at Newton Aycliffe is not only a sign of our continued commitment to the North East of England but also British manufacturing and its supply chain. At the heart of our commitment is the continued development of a highly skilled and dynamic workforce, which through our South Durham Technical University College partnership and 70 apprenticeships will drive the rail industry forward at home and abroad for many years to come,” added Jim Brewin, Head of UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail.

Establishing its County Durham manufacturing base in 2015, Hitachi Rail has been tasked with building 122 pioneering trains - as part of the government's Intercity Express Programme - alongside 70 zero-emission Class 385 regional trains for Scotland. Since then, Hitachi Rail has been working to localise its supply chain in the UK.

"This investment by Hitachi Rail is another statement of their ongoing efforts to localise skills and supply, creating new roles and opportunities to level up the North East. Their ongoing work with the University Technical College and investment in apprentices is a huge credit to them and my constituents. It’s developing real career opportunities for young people in my area and I look forward to supporting them in their journey forward,” concluded Paul Howell MP, Member of Parliament for Sedgefield.

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