- Europe’s long-term lending institution, the European Investment Bank has, as part of a consortium of international banks, agreed to finance the deployment of 65 new Hitachi Super Express Trains to be used on the East Coast Main Line between London and Scotland. This new fleet will replace the Intercity 125 and 225 trains currently in use on the line.
- European Investment Bank
“Replacing existing Intercity trains on the East Coast Main Line will benefit passengers, increase capacity on the route and significantly cut journey times on one of Britain’s busiest intercity routes. The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting long-term investment in transport infrastructure across the UK and we are pleased to provide a loan of nearly 30 years for investment in new trains to run between London and Scotland.” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.
The new East Coast Main Line trains will be financed under the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, which includes the financing, design, manufacture and maintenance of trains over a 27.5 year operating period. The order for the East Coast Main Line is for 497 new train carriages and the total contract value is GBP 2.7 billion. This is the total value of lease payments train operators will make over the life of the contracts.
New trains on the line will include both bi-mode trains, electric trains that can also operate at line speed using diesel engines, and electric trains. The programme will also include the construction of a new maintenance deport in Doncaster.
The first new trains are expected to enter service in September 2018, with the remainder being delivered progressively until February, 2020. The trains will be manufactured in Britain by Hitachi Rail Europe at a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham where 730 new jobs will be created.
The European Investment Bank is financing the new East Coast Main Line trains alongside Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), Development Bank of Japan (DBJ), HSBC, Lloyds, Mitsubishi Trust, Mizuho, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), Société Générale and Crédit Agricole.
Over the last five years the European Investment Bank has provided more than GBP 4 billion for transport investment across the UK. This has included support for the Great Western Main Line within the Intercity Express Programme, Thameslink and Eurostar trains, the new London Overground and Crossrail links, Manchester Metrolink and new Liverpool and London Gateway ports.
Last year the European Investment Bank provided GBP 4.85 billion for investment in the UK across priority policy areas such as transport, housing, water and waste. Lending in 2013 was the largest ever annual engagement by the EIB in the UK and represented an increase of 59% compared to 2012.