Minister on IEP train

Minister visits Class 800 train mock-up with Birmingham University students

Published on: 15th October 2014

Rail Minister Claire Perry MP visited the Class 800 train mock-up at DCA’s facilities in Warwick.  Joining her were representatives from the government, Hitachi Rail Europe, engineering students from University of Birmingham (some of whom were following  the inaugural course in rail engineering) and members of the Young Railway Professionals (YRP). This was the final opportunity to take a tour of the mock-up before its move to Hitachi Rail Europe’s North Pole Train Maintenance Centre in London.  The focus now turns to the first of the Class 800 trains which will arrive in the UK from Japan in March.

Ms Perry is responsible for major rail projects with consideration for the UK’s economic prosperity and carbon reduction targets.  Since the Class 800 train is at the core of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) which will deliver up to 25% increased capacity, improved reliability and green credentials, as well as creating hundreds of jobs, this project is of particular interest to the minister, who had some pertinent questions to ask concerning timescales, budget and passenger benefits.

The event highlighted the significance of the project on a national level.  DCA’s full size mock-up allowed our visitors to visualise how it will feel to travel on these trains when they enter service and became a source of inspiration for the University of Birmingham students and lecturers. This was reflected by Claire Perry, who stated, “Today was a fantastic opportunity not just to get a glimpse of what that experience will be like but also to hear the views of young engineers who could be playing a major role in the future of our railways. I was especially pleased to meet so many women who are involved in the engineering, design and management of one of Britain’s key growth industries. Like them, I can’t wait to see the first of these trains rolling out on our network.”