New high-speed trains announced

The Government has announced it will invest in a new-generation of high-speed trains in a multi-billion pound investment that promises to create thousands of jobs.

A £7.5 billion contract has been awarded to a British-led consortium called Agility Trains, to build and maintain a fleet of new super express trains for the Great Western and East Coast main lines.
Transport secretary Geoff Hoon said passengers on some of the country’s busiest rail routes would benefit from the single biggest investment in intercity trains for a generation.
The trains will replace the aging Intercity 125 to improve the Capitals link along passenger routes to Edinburgh and South Wales. More than 12,500 jobs will be created or safeguarded.
The replacements promise to have the same top speed but much faster acceleration out of stations due to having a lighter structure. This will reduce overall journey time. The Government stipulated that the trains would have to be manufactured in the UK and maintained in depots in Bristol, Reading, Doncaster, Leeds and west London. Three types of train will be built; a diesel, an electric and a hybrid able to run on either power source.
Hoon said: “This announcement demonstrates that this Government is prepared to invest, even in difficult economic times, by improving our national infrastructure.
“It is good news for the British economy that over 12,500 jobs will be created and safeguarded, good news for the regions that the Government is supporting significant inward investment, and good news for passengers that we are taking the steps necessary to improve their rail journeys.”
The first of the new trains will enter service on the East Coast mainline in 2013 and be fully operational from 2015.

Justin Cunningham

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