New trains for East Coast Main Line welcomed by Scots Euro MP

Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson has welcomed an announced investment by the European Investment Bank that would fund the deployment of 65 new Hitachi Super Express Trains on the East Coast Main Line.

The £235 million investment by the EIB, as part of a consortium of banks is part of the Department for Transport’s Intercity Express Programme, will see the new trains first delivered by 2018, with full roll-out by 2020.

The EIB receives capital from EU countries as its main shareholders, but it is also able to raise funding from capital markets for long-term investment in infrastructure both within the EU and with ‘partner countries.’

Speaking today in Strasbourg, Mr Stevenson welcomed the news. He said:“This is welcome news for Scotland, as these new trains will help secure the future of the East Coast Main Line and the many Scottish jobs – from train staff to depot workers – that depend on the line.  The East Coast Main Line route between Edinburgh and London is the crown jewel in the British transport network and I am pleased that from 2018, everyone travelling on the line will enjoy superior trains befitting of that status.

“The UK contributes to the European Investment Bank, which is able to use its capital to raise further funding in the markets. In this case, it has used its capital to raise money from a consortium of international banks in order to invest in these new trains for the benefit of Scotland."

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GBP 235 million European Investment Bank backing for 65 new East Coast Main Line trains

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.

“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.