Port of Tyne is on the right track with Hitachi

A Hitachi rail carriage is lifted into place at Port of Tyne.
A Hitachi rail carriage is lifted into place at Port of Tyne.

Port of Tyne has given Hitachi’s new train factory a lift.

The port is working with Hitachi Rail Europe, shipping operator Höegh Autoliners and Nissan Shipping Agents (NSA UK) to unload train body-shells imported from Japan.

The Port of Tyne is extremely proud to play a part in Hitachi Rail Europe’s supply chain and work with our partners Höegh and NSA to carry out this specialist job for them safely and efficiently.

Port of Tyne chief executive officer Andrew Moffat

The body-shells are unloaded and transported to Hitachi’s new Rail Vehicle Manufacturing Facility (RVMF) in County Durham.

The first shipment of five left Kobe in Japan at the end of August on board the giant car carrier Höegh Tokyo to travel the 5,000 nautical miles to South Shields.

Once they were towed off the ship, the port began the carefully planned manoeuvre to lift them on to specialist distribution vehicles.

For the first time, a tandem lift was carried out, using two of the port’s mobile cranes simultaneously to put each 26metre-long, 28-tonne body-shell delicately and precisely into place.

Port chief executive officer Andrew Moffat said: “The Port of Tyne is extremely proud to play a part in Hitachi Rail Europe’s supply chain and work with our partners Höegh and NSA to carry out this specialist job for them safely and efficiently.”

The next shipment of body-shells is expected to arrive early next month.

The £82million Hitachi factory will produce the rolling stock to support the Department for Transport’s InterCity Express Programme (IEP) and the Abellio Scotrail contract.

An £82m train factory has been officially opened in County Durham.

The plant, in Newton Aycliffe, will employ 730 workers assembling high-speed Intercity trains for the East Coast and Great Western main lines.

At last month’s opening ceremony, Prime Minister David Cameron described it as a “show of confidence” in the region.

“This is Hitachi’s first factory in Europe and their massive investment is a sign of their commitment to the United Kingdom and a real show of confidence in our economy and of confidence in the North East,” he said.

“I think this is a really big moment for the region. Train manufacturing has come back to the North East.”