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ROLLING STOCK


Hitachi is also bidding for the Crossrail rolling stock contract – former transport secretary Philip Hammond suggested in evidence to the Transport Select Committee on rolling stock procurement last year that Hitachi’s commitment meant that whatever happened with Derby-based Bombardier, there would continue to be a thriving train building industry in the UK.


The fi rst units to be built under the IEP will be introduced into revenue-earning service on the GWML from 2017 and on the ECML from 2018.


This time lag has caused consternation, with some in the industry suggesting the tried-and- tested Pendolinos should have been procured instead, as these could have been in service within a couple of years. Others have criticised the DfT’s entire specifi cation, saying the new fl eet should have been fully electric and loco- hauled on non-electrifi ed track – but the DfT says that would have cost £200m more.


Promises to keep


The new fl eet will offer reliability and comfort for passengers, Jordan said, and emphasised that the IEP was “not just buying trains”, but about “providing daily service, the right amount of trains in the right formation, with the right number of seats, every day”.


The trains are being provided to TOCs on a ‘pay- as-you-go’ basis, meaning they must be fully serviceable, clean and reliable.


In terms of environmental aspects, Hitachi has “spent a lot of time and effort and money on research”.


The trains will feature regenerative braking, on-board diagnostics and fully recyclable body shells. The R&D department will continue to research and drive improvements in this area to cut costs and emissions as well as improving performance.


Jordan added: “We’ll continue to invest in making the trains as energy effi cient as possible.”


Lengthy process


Despite having been named preferred bidder in February 2009, the deal only reached fi nal close in July 2012 – and full fi nancial close on the ECML elements is still outstanding. These delays could be attributed to the complexity of the deal, as well as external circumstances, Hitachi suggested.


Jordan commented: “The deal itself is quite complex and it’s something that has never been done before in the rail industry. It was very


much around service delivery, rather than just buying trains.


“There have been a lot of people involved, not just the DfT, but funding bodies, insurers. A lot of it has been around risk mitigation, so we get the right result for all parties and particularly the taxpayer. Unfortunately that does take time.


“There are a lot of documents involved in this contract and all of those had to be correct before we moved ahead.


I think that has been a function of the time taken, but we have to believe that we and the DfT and the taxpayers have come out with the right solution at the end of the day.”


A Hitachi spokesperson added that the fi nancial crisis and the change of Government since the preferred bidder announcement had caused upheaval.


Transport secretary Justine Greening said:


“There can be fewer stronger signs that the UK is the best place in which to invest, and from which to develop new markets, than Hitachi’s decision to base its European manufacturing base right here in Britain.”


FOR MORE INFORMATION


See Hitachi’s CGI video of the new trains here: www.tinyurl.com/IEP-CGI-video


The view from Japan


Hiroaki Nakanishi, representative executive offi cer and president of Hitachi, Ltd, said: “I am extremely pleased that after a long period of negotiations, we have been able to complete the formal contract for this project. This represents an extremely important step on Hitachi’s path toward global growth through Social Innovation Business.


“I would like to express my deep respect for the efforts of those representatives of the British government who invested so much energy into negotiations over a long period of time to ensure that this project could be realised, and at the same time, I would like to convey my most sincere thanks to members of the Japanese government and all those involved who offered invaluable support as well.


“Hitachi will do its utmost to provide highly reliable, comfortable, and environmentally friendly


services to passengers, and to


contribute to employment and the growth and development of British society by establishing a new manufacturing base equipped with the world’s most advanced production facilities.”


rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 12 | 135


Keith Jordan


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