UPDATE 1-Japan's Hitachi wins $1.8 bln UK train carriage order

Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:51am EDT

LONDON, July 18 (Reuters) - Britain's Department of Transport (DfT) on Thursday said it had awarded Hitachi's European rail arm a 1.2 billion pound ($1.8 billion) order to build more train carriages to be used on one of Britain's busiest intercity routes.

The trains are due to be introduced on the East Coast Main Line that connects London with Newcastle and Aberdeen in 2018.

Hitachi Rail Europe will build the 270 carriages for the train, called the class 800 series, in Britain. The contract comes after the DfT agreed an initial order last year for 596 carriages with Agility Trains, a consortium of Hitachi and British infrastructure project manager John Laing.

"This new order for class 800 series trains is part of the government's commitment to invest in our nation's infrastructure," Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said.

The latest carriage order will be operational on the train line from 2019 and will boost passenger capacity by 18 percent as well as cut journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh, the DfT said.

Hitachi Rail Europe's Chief Executive Alistair Dormer said the deal would extend firm orders until the end of the decade at its new factory in County Durham, north east England, where the carriages will be built.

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