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Great Western runs first all-electric train

electric train network rail

Great Western Railway has tested its first electric train on the Reading to Didcot line.

A Hitachi Class 800 Intercity Express Train successfully travelled between Reading and Didcot on Sunday to test the line’s new overhead electric power system.

The train reached 125mph and made two test runs between the stations.

Network Rail managed the test. The rail operator is electrifying the line between London Paddington and Bristol, Cardiff, Oxford and Newbury. 

Mark Langman, Route Managing Director for Network Rail Western, said “This is a great step forward, and I’d like to pay tribute to the team who have worked very hard to make this happen.  

”This is the future of rail being built before our eyes and it’s a very exciting time to be involved in this project. This weekend we’ve come a big step closer to providing faster, quieter, and more efficient services to the people of the region who depend on railways.”

Tests are set to continue as construction progresses on the Greater West programme. Public services are expected to start from 2019.


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