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First new all-electric train tested on Great Western Railway

Posted: 18 July 2016 | Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Global Railway Review | 2 comments

The first all-electric train has been successfully tested on the Great Western Railway as part of Network Rail’s electrification project.

First electric train tested on Great Western Railway

The first new all-electric train has been successfully tested on the Great Western Railway as part of Network Rail’s electrification project.

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First electric train tested on Great Western Railway

A new Hitachi Rail Class 800 Intercity Express Train has been successfully tested on the Great Western Railway from Reading to Didcot as part of a series of exercises designed to test the overhead electric power system.

First electric train tested on Great Western Railway

All electric train travelled at speeds of up to 125mph on Great Western Railway

The train, travelling at speeds of up to 125mph, made two test runs between the stations on the mornings of Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July, having arrived from its London depot. The test was managed by Network Rail, which is currently electrifying the entire line between London Paddington and Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford and Newbury, while the train was supplied by Agility Trains and Hitachi Rail Europe. The section of line will be used as a testbed for future power systems and electric train exercises.

Video showing first all-electric train travelling on the line from Reading to Didcot:

“This is a great step forward”

Mark Langman, Route Managing Director for Network Rail Western, said “This is a great step forward, and I’d like to pay tribute to the team who have worked very hard to make this happen.  This is the future of rail being built before our eyes and it’s a very exciting time to be involved in this project.  This weekend we’ve come a big step closer to providing faster, quieter, and more efficient services to the people of the region who depend on railways.”

Testing will now continue as construction proceeds on the Greater West electrification programme, with public services scheduled to begin from 2019.

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2 responses to “First new all-electric train tested on Great Western Railway”

  1. You are about 20 years late! The first all-electric train ran on the Great Western Railway in the late 1990s, and Heathrow Express and subsequently Heathrow Connect have been running them ever since.

    • Katie Sadler says:

      Hi Andrew, Many thanks for your comment. The information for the story was provided by Network Rail.

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