Wales

New Hitachi express train's first Welsh test journey

The Class 800 Hitachi InterCity Express is undergoing "dynamic testing" Image copyright Hitachi

A new intercity express train has completed its first test journey in Wales.

Hitachi, which is building and maintaining the new fleet, ran the train's maiden journey along the Great Western main line to Swansea on Wednesday.

The firm said it had "more seats, more space and better on-board technology".

The trains will connect Wales to London Paddington and other English cities from the autumn.

Karen Boswell, managing director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: "Our new intercity trains will bring rail travel in Wales firmly into the 21st Century. These modern trains are being built in Britain using pioneering Japanese bullet train technology."

The new trains will be "bi-mode", allowing them to switch between diesel and electric power, meaning passengers can use them while the Great Western route is modernised.

They are designed in Japan and built at Hitachi UK's site in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "The introduction of the new Hitachi intercity trains is a vital part of our railway upgrade plan to improve journeys for passengers."

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