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26 May 2011

Eco-friendly trains to be manufactured in UK
Britains first train manufacturing plant to be built in decades will assemble high-speed trains that will better the sustainability and eco-friendliness of rolling stock in the UK, the company behind the facility said today.

A 4.5 billion Government project, Hitachi Rail Europes Intercity Express Programme (IEP) will build fully electric and 'bi-mode trains, which can switch from electric to diesel power. The new Super Express trains will replace old Intercity 125 model trains, which run on diesel. They will be assembled at a new 460,000 square foot plant in Durham County.

"One of the things that our trains will do is they will use less energy per feet than existing trains, because theyre lighter," said Hitachi Europe spokeswoman Daniela Karthaus. "We will also have more capacity on the trains, so more passengers can travel on them, so that is going to be an environmental benefit."

Karthaus said the lighter trains will lessen the amount of material used in repairs as well.

"They will do very little damage to the tracks because they are lighter, which in turn means less replacement of tracks, which makes them hopefully more sustainable," she said.

Representatives from Durham County Council, County Durham Development Company, Merchant Place Developments, Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail Europe spoke publicly about the IEP today for the first time since the Government approved the project in March. More than 1,800 guests attended the event, which informed attendees about the business opportunities available during the construction of the new factory.

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