Class 800 Intercity Express Train

The future of high speed intercity services on key routes including the Great Western Main Line and East Coast Main Line are going to be in the hands of the Class 800, part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP). These high speed multiple units are bi-mode electro-diesels (the Class 801 is a pure electric multiple unit version).

Number built: 536 (80 5- and 9-car sets)
Built: 2015-
Builder: Hitachi Kasado & Newton Aycliffe
Motor: Hitachi traction system (25kV AC OHLE)
MTU 12V 1600 R80L diesel

Final construction of the Class 800 is taking place at a new Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe though much of the build including the body shells are being made at a Hitachi factory in Kasado Japan. The prototypes were wholly built in Japan.

The Class 800 are operated by Great Western Railway (800/0 and 800/3) and London North Eastern Railway (800/1 and 800/2) as five or nine car sets. GWR introduced them into service in Autumn 2017 and LNER (formerly Virgin Trains East Coast who gave them the name Azuma) plan to introduce them before in 2019.

GWR's 800s were originally to have been the pure-EMU Class 801 but because of delays in electrifying the GWML the order was switched to the bi-mode Class 800 which has been designed to be able to switch from diesel to electric (and vice versa) at line speed. However they can only achieve their maximum speed (of up to two hundred and twenty five kp/h depending on signalling) in electric mode.
GWR 800 021 at Moreton-in-Marsh

GWR 800 035 at Honeybourne

Before the demise of Virgin East Coast, 800 101 at York

GWR 800 009 at Evesham

Aboard 800 009

GWR 800 029 at Reading