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Final Class 395 Train Arrives in Southampton, Begins Last Leg of Journey to Depot in Ashford

Press Release   •   Aug 17, 2009 11:00 BST

Full Fleet of Hitachi Class 395 Trains now in the UK

LONDON, 17 AUGUST 2009 – The 29th and final Hitachi train ordered for Southeastern High Speed Services will be unloaded at the Port of Southampton today. The train will arrive in Southampton on board Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics' 67,140 GRT RoRo ship, MV Tamesis and will be transferred by DB Schenker to Hitachi’s state of the art maintenance facility in Ashford for commissioning.

Logistics specialists Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd and Hitachi Transport Systems worked together seamlessly to bring the 29 trains to the UK and to deliver them on schedule to the Ashford depot. All Class 395 trains have been manufactured to latest UK and European safety standards in Hitachi's manufacturing facility in Kasado, Japan and shipped from Kobe, Japan some 12,580 nautical miles to Southampton in the UK and then to Ashford, Kent – an overall journey of over 12,800 miles or 20,600 kms from factory to customer.

The Class 395 is Hitachi’s first rolling stock in regular service in the European market. Currently operating on Southeastern’s limited ‘preview’ service, journeys between Ashford and St Pancras take just 37 minutes on the 140mph train, almost an hour quicker than some trains on the existing Mainline service. The full passenger service will start in December 2009.

The timely delivery of the trains from Japan and successful completion of 4,000 miles ‘fault free’ running enabled Southeastern to launch its preview service nearly six months early on 29th June. For its first month of operation the service has seen near perfect punctuality at 99.1 percent and proved so popular that two peak-time trains were doubled from six to 12 carriages.

Alistair Dormer, General Manager at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: "Thanks to our logistics partners Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and DB Schenker, the delivery of the final Class 395 train marks the successful delivery to the UK of the country’s fastest commuter trains. This has been a great opportunity for Hitachi Rail to demonstrate its efficient manufacturing and delivery to the European market. Now our focus is on making sure the fleet is fully commissioned and ready for Southeastern’s full launch in December.”

Captain Mark Bookham, Operations Director, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, United Kingdom, said: “The three year project to ship Hitachi’s 395 trains from Kasado, Japan to Ashford, UK has been a seamless factory to dealer operation requiring careful strategic planning and execution. Our team is delighted that the operation has gone so smoothly and the entire fleet has been delivered on schedule, to budget and in an environmentally friendly way.

“We developed special rubber tyre bogies (RTBs) to carry the carriages on board our ships. In Southampton the carriages were rolled off the ship and then lifted using two 100 tonne mobile cranes in tandem directly onto the rail tracks running along the Ocean Terminal and reformed as a train. The trains were then taken by rail to Ashford by our logistics partner, DB Schenker”, commented Bookham.

Stuart Boner, Managing Director of the Network segment of DB Schenker Rail (UK) Ltd, said: “Through a journey of over 12,800 miles the last leg of the journey has been delivered as planned for Hitachi through a seamless interaction between the ocean and the railway. In doing so, the class 395s have only travelled by rail in the UK, avoiding any need for road transportation. We are proud of our role in ensuring a complex international global logistics operation has been successfully completed on-time.”

Charles Horton, Managing Director, Southeastern, said: “We are very pleased that that the final train has arrived safely at Southampton. We have formed a strong working relationship with all our industry partners to ensure that the trains are delivered to us on time. It is partly thanks to this strong relationship that we have been able to introduce our preview service in advance of the new timetable, incorporating the new high speed services, in December.”

Hitachi Europe originally won the £250 million contract for 28 high-speed trains in October 2004. Southeastern later added the 29th train to the order to provide additional capacity. The first train arrived in Southampton on 23 August 2007.


About Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.

Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. and is headquartered in London, UK.

Hitachi Rail Europe is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots.

Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading supplier of high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets. In Europe, Hitachi Rail Europe’s first rolling stock contract was to deliver a fleet of 29 Class 395 trains, the first domestic high-speed train in the UK, which are maintained at Hitachi’s state of the art depot in Ashford, Kent. As part of the British Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, Hitachi Rail Europe will replace the UK’s ageing fleet of Intercity trains, and will establish a new rolling stock manufacturing facility in the UK for this purpose. The trains will be maintained and services in a number of new maintenance
depots along the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.

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