Lincolnshire Echo Online (16 April 2014)
Almost 500 new train carriages are to be introduced on the East Coast Main Line between London and Edinburgh – to the benefit of Lincoln rail users.
It comes on the back of a £2.7 million government deal to improve transport links and the carriages will be introduced by 2018.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has today confirmed plans for a new fleet of state-of-the-art trains, marking major progress in its transformation of the key intercity route – the main service between Lincoln and several major cities including London, Leeds, York, Newcastle and Edinburgh.
The new Class 800 trains, set to reduce journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh by up to 15 minutes, will also bring multiple benefits to passengers, with increased reliability and 19 per cent more seats on each train.
McLoughlin said that the new trains – forming part of the government’s £5.7 billion Intercity Express Programme (IEP) – will “transform rail travel between many of the great towns and cities of England and Scotland”.
He added: “This deal is further proof that our long-term economic plans are on track, creating jobs and breathing new life into the UK’s train-building industry.”
The 497 new carriages will be introduced to the East Coast service in 2018, and manufacture of the carriages at Hitachi Rail Europe’s purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham is set to create hundreds of jobs.
In addition, it has been confirmed that Bristol and Doncaster are among locations earmarked for new Hitachi maintenance depots.
Depots across the Great Western and East Coast Main Lines are also to be refurbished and upgraded.