Inter-City Express Programme (IEP)
The Government has today confirmed further public expenditure of £1.2 billion on new trains for the East Coast Main Line as part of the state funded Inter-City Express Programme to buy new rolling stock, mainly for the East Coast and Great Western main lines.
The 270 new carriages for the East Coast will come into service form 2019 and be built at Hitachi’s factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. They are additional to the 596 carriages for the East Coast and Great Western main lines ordered by the Government in 2012 and due for service from 2017. As a result, the total cost of IEP rolling stock procurement has reached nearly £6 billion for the design, build, financing and maintenance of nearly 900 new trains over a 27 year contractual period.
The public sector is once again paying for major investment in the privatised rail industry. Such investment allows train operating companies to maximise their profits and take millions more out of the rail industry in the form of dividends to private shareholders.
This announcement comes shortly after the Government’s proposal to re-privatise the East Coast Main Line, with the bidding process due to start in October this year. The tender for the next private franchise on the Great Western main line will be issued in March 2015.
I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of members and I will keep colleagues updated on the detail of any further public expenditure on new trains through the IEP.