Doncaster MPs Caroline Flint and Rosie Winterton were among guests at the Hitachi Doncaster Carr Train Maintenance Depot, which will test and maintain the 65 strong fleet of Azuma trains currently being built in County Durham.
The MPs went aboard one of the new Azuma trains, which are due to come into service on the East Coast Main Line in 2019, and then discussed work at the centre with new apprentices, Adam Fisher, Thomas Groves and Harry Wood.
Said Caroline: “Doncaster has a railway tradition dating back to 1876. But what we are seeing is a real renaissance of rail in Doncaster, with Hitachi’s train maintenance centre, the new iPort rail inland rail freight hub and the High Speed Rail College.
Said Rosie: “Hitachi has invested £80million in the state of the art centre, including the 280m train maintenance centre, putting Doncaster at the centre of high speed rail for many years. This is a huge vote of confidence in Doncaster’s rail industry and, in partnership with the High Speed Rail College, we are seeing the first apprentices complete their training and join Hitachi’s workforce that will grow to 250 in a real industry of the future.”
“Hitachi are not just creating a modern fleet of trains for our railways, but they are keen to create a modern workforce and determined to boost recruitment of young women into the rail industry.”
Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director of Hitachi Rail in the UK, said: “We a proud to continue Doncaster’s strong railway industry with our new state-of-the-art depot.
“This visit from Caroline and Rosie signifies the importance of our £80million investment in Doncaster and the need to inspire a new generation of engineers in the area. We welcome their support for a thriving rail industry in the north.”
Hitachi has a 27.5 year contract with the Government to supply 65 Azuma trains, capable of travelling at 140mph. Hitachi is also bidding to build the HS2 trains; and bidding to introduce digital ticketing for Transport for the North, covering five cities and operating on buses and trains.
The Doncaster Carr Train Maintenance Centre took two years to build, has 4 kilometres of track, a 280m maintenance centre, a train washing facility and a tyre turning centre. The centre tests all new Azuma trains and adds the livery (some of the seats, interior décor, painting and logos).