High-speed shape of things to come

Oxford Mail: The new IEP train to operated by Great Western. The new IEP train to operated by Great Western.

MEET the new face of express train travel in Oxford, Didcot and the Cotswolds.

This is the nose of the IEP trains which will operate Great Western high-speed services between Oxfordshire, London, Bristol and South Wales from 2017.

Construction of the first of four prototype trains is now under way at Kasado in Japan, at a factory owned by Hitachi.

The company, which made the Class 395 Javelin trains used on high-speed commuter services running between Kent and London, is building a plant at Newton Aycliffe, in County Durham, to manufacture the rest of the fleet.

The first prototype is due to be completed next month and will arrive in the UK to start tests in the autumn.

High-speed trial running is expected to take place next year between Didcot and Reading, once overhead electric wires are installed there as part of the Great Western main line electrification programme.

A full-size mock-up of parts of the train was produced by DCA Design International, of Leamington Spa, to help develop the final design.

Staff from First Great Western have been involved in the project, with drivers asked to give their views on the layout of the cab. As well as the nose cone and driving cab, the mock-up includes standard and first class seating areas, toilets and the luggage and cycle racks which will be installed in the vestibules of coaches.

Two versions of the 125mph trains are on order for Great Western services, 21 nine-coach Class 800 electric trains and 36 five-coach Class 801 bi-mode, electro-diesel units. These will use electricity from overhead power cables where these are installed, then switch to underfloor diesel engines on non-electrified routes, such as the Cotswold Line between Oxford and Worcester.

Oxford Mail:

After a recent visit to DCA’s workshops in Warwick, Rail Minister Stephen Hammond, above, said: “I was very impressed with the mock-up of the Class 800/801 train, and interested to hear about the lengths that the designers have gone to in ensuring that the views of passengers and other stakeholders have been included.

“The new trains will provide passengers with an improved travelling experience. I look forward to seeing them come into operation.”

Draft seating designs show the nine-coach trains will have about 630 seats. The five-coach sets will have about 320 seats and will be able to couple together to create a 640-seat train for busy peak services.

Another 12 five-coach electric trains, 10 five-coach bi-mode trains, and 13 nine-car bi-mode trains are also on order for the East Coast rail franchise, which links London with Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.

The IEP fleet was ordered by the Government under a £5.8bn private finance initiative contract with Agility Trains, a consortium of Hitachi and British infrastructure management firm John Laing.

Our top stories:

Wet and windy weather forecast for Bank Holiday Monday

Oxford Mail: Shoppers struggle with their brollies at Carfax as high winds and heavy rain swept the county yesterday

2:18pm Saturday 23rd August 2014

The Bank Holiday is forecast to end with wet and windy weather as the Met Office issued a severe weather warning. 

Abingdon after-school club shut down after Ofsted investigation

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

Club accused of failing to report abuse allegations and of other failures. Read the report in full here

Pink dalek roams streets of Oxford to exterminate cancer

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

A SELF-confessed “massive” Doctor Who fan has raised thousands of pounds for charity after building a life-sized Dalek.

Carterton turns out to greet Wreath of Respect

Oxford Mail:

8:30am Saturday 23rd August 2014

A CROWD of 50 ex-servicemen and well-wishers last night welcomed a cavalcade carrying a wreath into Carterton as part of its UK tour.

Cowley plant worker died after exposure to asbestos

Oxford Mail: Oxfordshire County Council county hall

8:30am Saturday 23rd August 2014

A FORMER Cowley plant health and safety officer died from exposure to asbestos at the factory, a coroner ruled.

Co-defendants deny trying to cover up Connor’s killing

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

TWO friends of Will Blencowe have denied helping him escape justice after he fatally stabbed city teenager Connor Tremble.

No charges for four held over forces bomb

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

7:40am Saturday 23rd August 2014

Four people arrested in connection with a letter bomb sent to Oxford’s Armed Forces Recruitment Office have been released without charge.

£1m cut flowers display worth a look

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

CREATIVITY will blossom as thousands of flowers are to decorate Lady Margaret Hall over the weekend.

Patients to get free browsing at Oxford hospitals

Oxford Mail: oxford university trust hospitals logo

7:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

HOSPITAL patients will now be able to make the most of their tablets and smartphones after the launch of a new free guest wifi service.

500 new home sites in Bicester, Banbury and Kidlington identified in ‘blueprint’

Oxford Mail: Cherwell district council logo

7:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

THOUSANDS of new homes could be built in Bicester, Banbury and Kidlington under new plans drawn up by Cherwell District Council (CDC).

Man says sorry as pal pushes attempted Bicester robbery victim

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

6:30am Saturday 23rd August 2014

A MAN apologised after his friend pushed a 24-year-old into a stream in Bicester and demanded cash.

A splash of colour will give ‘dull’ Leys tower major lift

Oxford Mail:

6:30am Saturday 23rd August 2014

IMAGES of what the towers in Blackbird Leys will look like after the results of the residents’ votes over colours have been revealed.

Plan for cyclists to share pavements with pedestrians in Frideswide revamp

Oxford Mail:

6:00am Saturday 23rd August 2014

Frideswide Square could become “shared space” between pedestrians and cyclists, transport officials have said.

Picture special: David Cameron hits the surf on holiday in Cornwall

Oxford Mail:

6:24pm Friday 22nd August 2014

PRIME Minister David Cameron was back on holiday body-boarding in Cornwall today.

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:50pm Wed 28 May 14

train passenger says...

That's not a high speed train, just a normal 125 mph electrified train. They have been using those all over continental Europe for decades. Oxford to London in 24 minutes, that's high speed.
That's not a high speed train, just a normal 125 mph electrified train. They have been using those all over continental Europe for decades. Oxford to London in 24 minutes, that's high speed. train passenger
  • Score: 2

8:26am Thu 29 May 14

EMBOX2 says...

I cannot believe we won't get a speed increase. Even to 150mph would knock a few minutes off, I assume the track (and trains) can handle it.

We wonder why our railways are a laughing stock....look no further.
I cannot believe we won't get a speed increase. Even to 150mph would knock a few minutes off, I assume the track (and trains) can handle it. We wonder why our railways are a laughing stock....look no further. EMBOX2
  • Score: -1

12:23pm Thu 29 May 14

King Joke says...

On a service like Oxford-Reading-Sloug
h-Paddington, acceleration is as important as top speed. Electric trains accelerate much more quickly than our wheezing old HSTs so journeys will be quicker.
On a service like Oxford-Reading-Sloug h-Paddington, acceleration is as important as top speed. Electric trains accelerate much more quickly than our wheezing old HSTs so journeys will be quicker. King Joke
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree