£4.5bn train boost for Great Western Main Line
Published 25 Jul 2012 17:00 0 Comments
THE Great Western Main Line is to get 57 new intercity trains as part of the £4.5bn rail deal announced by Government today.
The long-awaited investment will include 21 electric trains and 36 bi-mode trains, capable of running on electricity and diesel.
They will be faster and have more capacity that existing intercity services and the first of the new fleet will be up and running by 2017.
They will be built, along with 39 others for the East Coast Main Line, by Agility Trains - a consortium of Hitachi and John Laing - and will replace many of the 125mph high speed trains constructed in the 1970s.
First Great Western managing director, Mark Hopwood said: "This latest Government announcement is an essential piece of the jigsaw in improving passenger journeys across our network.
"Alongside the further electrification announced last week, these trains will give passengers a faster and more comfortable journey experience when travelling on the Great Western Main Line between London and destinations such as Oxford, Newbury, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea.
"The high speed train has run on the Great Western network for more than 35 years serving the route and its passengers.
"They remain popular today and will continue to serve our customers over the next few years."
The contract for Agility Trains was approved by transport secretary Justine Greening. The trains will be built at a factor in County Durham, with the project creating more than 900 jobs.
The deal follows the Government's decision to electrify branch lines between Reading, Basingstoke and Southampton by 2019.
Ms Greening said: "The decision to build almost 600 new intercity train carriages is great for rail passengers who will experience faster and more comfortable journeys when travelling across Britain on the East Coast and Great Western main lines."