Great Western Railway launched its Class 802 fleet to invited stakeholders on August 17, the day before the first sets entered traffic.
Five-car 802005 carried stakeholders from Penzance to Exeter St Davids. It was the first of 36 Eversholt Rail-funded Class 802 bi-modes ordered specifically for the West of England route to carry passengers on the main line.
The following day (August 18), the class entered revenue earning traffic when GWR used 802006/007 on the 0645 Bristol Temple Meads-Swansea. They were followed on August 20 by 802003/005, which worked the 0553 Plymouth-London Paddington.
GWR has 22 five-car (802001-802022) and 14 nine-car sets on order (802101-802114). Apart from three pre-series trains (802001/002, 802101), all are being built by Hitachi in Pistoia, Italy. They feature the same amount of UK-supplied material as Intercity Express Trains assembled at Newton Aycliffe - more than 70%.
Hitachi Rail Group Chief Executive Alistair Dormer told RAIL on August 17 that construction of the final GWR ‘802’ was underway in Pistoia and that the fleet would be delivered by the end of the year.
GWR spokesman Dan Panes confirmed that all 36 trains would be in traffic by early-2019.
- Read the FULL story in RAIL 860, published on August 29 and available digitally on Android/iPad from August 25.
- For an in-depth feature from RAIL's visit to Pistoia last year, read RAIL 829, available digitally on Android/iPad.