Deutsche Bahn

Testing programme for the next generation of intercity trains for UK

DB Systemtechnik is delighted to be supporting Hitachi Rail Europe

(Minden, Derby, 26. April 2016) DB Systemtechnik is running the testing programme for the next generation of intercity trains for the UK.

The largest railway consultancy in Europe, DB Systemtechnik is delighted to be supporting train manufacturer Hitachi Rail Europe with the testing and commissioning of their 122 class 800 (bi-mode) and class 801 (electric) trains (866 cars in total) that will be starting to enter passenger service on the Great Western Main Line in the UK from 2017 and East Coast Main Line in 2018.

DB Systemtechnik has a wealth of experience in the testing, approvals and commissioning of new trains across Europe, including the Velaro Eurostar, ICE 4, FLIRT, Vectron and Desiro. Hitachi Rail Europe in partnership with GB Railfreight, will be undertaking all the necessary testing required in the UK, to support with meeting tight delivery deadlines, helping to ensure that these new IEP trains go into passenger service on time.

The new inter-city trains are being tested, both on a track at Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire and on a dedicated section of the East Coast Main Line. DB Systemtechnik has to date carried out uplift and contact force measurement testing, to check that the overhead lines interact properly with the train pantographs and dynamic testing. They carried out the network testing with a single 5-car unit, a single 9-car unit and two 5-car units coupled together. In April and May 2016, DB Systemtechnik will start the next phase of testing, with both aerodynamic and brake testing being carried out.

ESG Rail, a UK subsidiary of DB Systemtechnik is helping with this testing programme. ESG’s Wheel Slide Protection Evaluation Rig based at Derby will be used to support the online brake system testing. ESG also constructed a special adapter coupling to enable the new IEP units to be towed from Southampton docks to the Leicestershire test track.

Commenting on this order, Andy Rogers the IEP Projects Director from Hitachi Rail Europe said: “Hitachi Rail Europe is delivering a transformational new fleet of trains for both the Great Western and East Coast Main lines here in the UK. The InterCity Express Programme (IEP) is a UK government £5.7bn investment programme and the pre-series test trains are going through rigorous acceptance testing with the support of DB Systemtechnik and other partners. The IEP fleet will be manufactured in Hitachi’s brand new state-of-the-art Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility in the North East. Hitachi has a proven track record in delivery and we are confident that the IEP trains will be going into passenger service as planned.”

Christoph Kirschinger, General Manager Sales from DB Systemtechnik added: “We have a huge amount of experience in similar testing programmes across Europe. We look forward to continuing our successful working relationship with Hitachi Rail Europe and to increasing our work in the UK.”

InterCity Express Programme (IEP) Train Project Background


In July 2012 Agility Trains West entered into a contract for the first phase of the InterCity Express Programme, to provide 57 new trains to replace the Intercity 125 stock on the Great Western Main Line, running from London to Reading, Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea. The new trains will be brought into operation from May 2017 to July as per the contract. In May 2014 Agility Trains East entered into a contract for the second phase of the IEP to provide 65 new trains on the East Coast Main Line from London to Doncaster, Leeds, York,

Newcastle, Edinburgh and Inverness. The new trains will be brought into operation from August 2018 to February 2020 as per the contract. The Hitachi Class 800/801 trains, which will be manufactured in the new Hitachi Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility at Newton Aycliffe in the north-east of England, will provide increased capacity and significantly improved reliability, while enhancing the passenger experience with more modern trains, better interiors and seating arrangements, and faster journey times.