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RCA kicks off new train design project with Hitachi Rail Europe

20 March 2012

The Royal College of Art (RCA) Vehicle Design programme and Hitachi Rail Europe have announced plans for a joint project to design a train for London. With a track record in automotive design the RCA is now expanding its area of expertise into public transportation design. The first train project will focus on Crossrail and London Underground’s deep tube EVO trains.

Class 395 train
Class 395 train

Professor Dale Harrow, Head of the RCA Vehicle Design programme said: “We are fortunate to have Hitachi Rail Europe as our partner for this new venture. Hitachi has successfully delivered the Class 395 train (pictured) and has been selected as the train builders for the Intercity Express Programme. Working with a leading train manufacturer will ensure that the students have access to up-to-date technology and expertise in rolling stock design, while developing their own creative ideas.”

Chiaki Ueda, Chairman of Hitachi Rail Europe adds: “Our design team will carefully evaluate the ideas the students develop and integrate the best ideas into our existing train designs. This will help us to create exceptionally reliable trains that will become as iconic and unique as the Class 395, currently operating between St Pancras and Kent.

“Hitachi has ambitious plans to build a manufacturing facility for our UK and European customers in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. We also have plans for a Research & Development centre there. This is our first project with the RCA, and we see it as a starting point of our UK and European focussed R&D activity. We are really looking forward to working with the RCA and expanding our mutual activities in the coming years.”

Students will be working on their design ideas over the coming months and present them in an exhibition in London in early September. The best concepts will be exhibited at the Hitachi stand at this year’s InnoTrans in September in Berlin.

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