Passengers in the South West are a step closer to experiencing new trains as Hitachi begins testing the Class 802 Intercity Express Train fleet.
On Tuesday 8 August, the first of Great Western Railway’s Intercity Express Trains for Devon and Cornwall carried out test runs in Somerset, between Bruton and Cogload.
Two more trains are due to arrive in the South West within the coming weeks as part of a comprehensive test programme.
Modern trains designed for Devon and Cornwall
From 2018 this fleet of Class 802 IETs, which is being financed by Eversholt Rail, will connect London Paddington to Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance and many more communities.
Part of GWR’s new Intercity fleet, the 36 Class 802s are fitted with bi-mode technology, allowing trains to use both diesel and electric power, ensuring passengers experience new trains as soon as possible.
Passengers will benefit from over a fifth more seats per train, more frequent trains and shorter journey times.
The IET is designed to withstand the region’s variable weather conditions, including routes along the Dawlish coast. These new trains harness Hitachi’s Japanese bullet train technology and will offer a step-change in the journey experience for passengers.
Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of GWR, said:
“We know how important the railway is to the economies and communities of the South West, and the start of testing today marks another milestone in delivering the improvements we know our passengers wish to see.
“These trains will help us deliver faster, more frequent services into the South West, each providing up to a fifth more seats per train.”
Berry Sas, Projects Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said:
“This is an exciting milestone for our team as we ensure the trains are delivered on time and in top condition. Passengers and enthusiasts will be able to catch glimpses of the new trains as they begin regular test runs in the region.”
Notes to editors
Great Western Railway (GWR) provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services. We help over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year - across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.
We’re currently seeing the biggest investment in the network since Brunel so we can offer more trains, more seats, and shorter, more frequent journeys and continue the network’s heritage of helping connect more businesses to new and prosperous markets. Through a series of initiatives we aim to be a good neighbour to the communities we serve and are committed to making a positive social impact in those regions. Learn how we're Building a Greater West at GWR.com. GWR is a FirstGroup company.