The Anonymous Widower

Hitachi Ships TransPennine Express’s First Class 802 From Japan

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on Global Rail News.

To my mind, the Japanese do some inefficient things when building trains.

  • It could be sensible to build the first of each different sub-fleet in Japan and ship it to the UK by sea, but what puzzles me is that the body shells are all built and painted in Japan and then shipped half-way round the world.
  • The shipping delay must make production difficult to plan and inefficient.
  • I would have thought they would have built a body plant somewhere in Europe.

CAF may send their trains by ship, but that is only a short sea crossing and because the Spanish rail gauge they can’t tow them through the Channel Tunnel, as the other European manufacturers do.

April 24, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , , ,


  1. How long does it take to fabricate and assemble the chassis? The process could be planned such that the chassis is ready for the body shell to land on it when it arrives, and there’s no hanging around. Besides, are the shells extruded? Perhaps it is cheaper to ship them halfway around the world than build a whole new extruder in Britain/Europe, with its high energy costs. Anyway, you’d still have to ship the raw materials.

    Comment by Will | April 24, 2018 | Reply


    In this post, I quote The Guardian, which states that Bombardier can make 25 caqrriages a week at Derby. The sides are extruded and you can see that they are extruded with ribs.

    I also think Bombardier’s production system, takes a lot of ideas from those used down the road at Toyota.

    It’s a lot easy to ship alumilium billets, than empty body shells.

    Comment by AnonW | April 25, 2018 | Reply

  3. I see the ORR has just authorised TPE’s 802s, with some restrictions, so they should be in use before too long

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 13, 2019 | Reply

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