Testing due to begin on first nine-car ‘801/2’
The first nine-car Class 801/2 for Virgin Trains East Coast was delivered to Doncaster Carr for testing and commissioning on February 9.
The electric multiple unit (801201) has been at Newton Aycliffe since October 2016. It is the first of 30 Class 801/2s for VTEC, and has been undergoing tests at the Hitachi Rail Europe site in County Durham, but this was its first venture away from the site. It was built in Kasado (Japan).
The ‘801/2’ was taken to the Yorkshire depot by nine-car Great Western Railway bi-mode 800302, the first time that an 18-car Intercity Express Train had operated on the main line. This is only needed in the case of a rescue, but was used as a test for the operation.
The delivery of the ‘801/2’ follows the start of testing of Class 801 EMUs, ahead of the IET introduction on the East Coast Main Line from November ( RAIL 845/846).
As of February 5, there were nine VTEC Azumas in the UK, with bi-mode 800101 being used for testing, as well as 801101/102, 801201. Five were stored.
A tenth was being delivered from Kasado, where the bodyshells are manufactured, and was due to arrive at Teesport at the end of February. A further two were in Kasado ready for shipping, while construction of the next 18 Azumas was under way in Kasado.
There are 65 Class 800/801 Azumas on order for VTEC. They start to enter traffic from November, with ten sets planned to be in traffic by March next year ( RAIL 846).