• Kyodo


The British government said Thursday it has chosen Agility Trains Ltd. — a consortium grouping Barclays Private Equity Ltd., John Laing PLC and Hitachi Ltd. — as the preferred bidder for a £7.5 billion ($10.7 billion) project to supply intercity trains and maintenance work while it replaces its aging express trains.

Hitachi said separately that it is planning to build a train assembly plant in Britain for the project, the first of its kind overseas. It will require an initial workforce of up to 200 people, a number that could climb to 500 in the future.

After Agility Trains officially signs the contract for the project, Hitachi will provide trains on a 20- to 30-year lease.

Britain plans to replace its high-speed trains, which are 20 to 30 years old, on the Great Western and East Coast main lines. Hitachi said it will provide up to 1,400 trains between 2013 and 2018. The consortium is expected to work out the details of the deal and sign the contract by October.

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