Test­ing due to be­gin on first nine-car ‘801/2’

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News -

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).

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