To begin with, I would like to apologise for not writing a blog post last week due to university commitments.
Despite this, there has not been much UK railway news in the past two weeks. Therefore, I am commenting on the prototype Intercity Express Programme train which has been unveiled in Japan. The train is being constructed by Hitachi and is being built to replace the Intercity 125 fleet which has been operating for over 30 years. There are going to be two versions; the class 800 which is an electric/diesel hybrid and the class 801 which is an electric-only train. The trains are only designed to at speeds up to 125 mph. The Intercity 125s on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line are set to be replaced, although I don’t think all the FGW Intercity 125s will be replaced because some go down to Cornwall and only the London to Bristol section of the Great Western Main Line is currently being electrified (with the Cardiff to Bristol section by 2017). The trains are going to be at least completed in the UK in Hitachi’s new factory in Newton Aycliffe, which will substantially increase the number of trains which are constructed in the UK, with new trains for the new Abellio franchise for the railways in Scotland to be constructed at Newton Aycliffe (the only current UK train factory being at Derby, run by Bombardier).