A Hitachi-built Intercity Express train has arrived for the first time at the Inverness depot for tests ahead of its introduction later this year on the Edinburgh to London route, with full introduction planned for next year. The introduction of the Hitachi trains will also see £5 million (EUR 5.6 million) invested in upgrading the Inverness depot and staff training. The depot upgrades will allow the trains to be serviced and maintained using modern technology, ensuring a more reliable service.
Designated as Rail Class 800, the Intercity Express train incorporates technology from Japan’s famous “bullet trains” and is part of the UK government’s Intercity Express Programme. This will be the first hybrid passenger train in the UK and can switch between electric or diesel power reducing harmful emissions by up to 90% even when burning diesel. The trains will provide passengers with wider carriages, better Wi-Fi and greatly extended leg room.