National Express East Coast launches final refurbished and upgraded HST power cars back into service
Train operator National Express East Coast will today launch its final two HST power cars back into service after being refurbished, upgraded and fitted with new high performing engines installed as part of a £27m investment.
Today’s launch brings the total number of re-engined HST power cars in service to 30.
The final two power cars are being handed over to National Express today at the Brush Traction works in Loughborough, Leicestershire, where work to install the new MTU engines has been carried out.
The new engines significantly improve performance, with the repowered trains using 15 per cent less fuel. They are also quieter and have a longer service life.
The new engines produce lower exhaust emissions that comply with new European legislation - reinforcing the train’s position as the most environmentally friendly, carbon efficient and sustainable form of transport, when compared with flying or driving.
National Express East Coast Managing Director Susan Goldsmith said: “This project on the popular HST trains has proved very successful, and the significant investment in them provides an improved service to our passengers on the East Coast Main Line, thanks to their improved performance and reliability.
“It has been a privilege to work with Brush Traction and MTU and the work carried out by them has been fantastic. By extending the life of the HSTs and keeping them fit for purpose, they maintain their iconic status on the UK railway while looking and performing like new trains.”
John Bidewell, Brush Traction’s Managing Director, said: “Brush Traction is proud to be associated with this project to improve and extend the life of the NXEC HST Fleet, bringing tangible benefits to the travelling public, the operator and the environment.”
Mike Ferris, MTU UK’s Managing Director, said: “This has been a tremendously successful project for all concerned. The collaboration between the various parties involved has created a much broader partnership than ever envisaged. This has further contributed to the delivery of significant improvements for the industry, operator and passenger. MTU is very proud to have been part of this team.”
As well as the re-engining programme, a separate project is continuing at Wabtec Rail’s Doncaster works to refurbish the trains' interior, with new seating, lighting and toilets. This is due to be completed by November of this year.
In the longer term, the HST trains are to be replaced by a new fleet of high-speed trains as part of the InterCity Express Project led by the Department for Transport (DfT). These trains are expected to begin trials on the East Coast Main Line from 2013, prior to a wider roll-out in 2015.